Increased proximal acid reflux is associated with early readmission following lung transplantation

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Abstract

Background

Gastroesophageal reflux disease has been associated with poor outcomes following lung transplantation. However, the association between pretransplant reflux and post-transplant readmission, an indicator of early clinical outcome, has not been previously assessed.

Methods

This was a retrospective cohort study of lung transplant recipients undergoing pretransplant multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH (MII-pH) study off acid suppression at a tertiary care center since 2007. Subjects with pretransplant fundoplication were excluded. Time to readmission was defined as duration from post-transplant discharge to next hospital admission for any reason. Subgroup analysis was performed to exclude elective readmissions. Time-to-event analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazards model, with appropriate censoring.

Key Results

Forty-three subjects (60% men, mean age: 57, median follow-up: 1.7 years) met inclusion criteria for the study. Patient demographics and pretransplant cardiopulmonary function were similar between readmission cohorts. Time to all-cause readmission was associated with increased distal acid episodes (HR: 3.15, p = 0.04) and proximal acid episodes (HR: 3.61, p = 0.008) on impedance, increased acid exposure on pH (HR: 2.22, p = 0.04), and elevated Demeester score (HR: 2.26, p = 0.03). When elective readmissions were excluded, early readmission remained significantly associated with increased proximal acid reflux episodes (HR: 2.49, p = 0.04). All findings were confirmed on Kaplan–Meier analysis.

Conclusions & Inferences

Elevated proximal acid reflux on pretransplant MII-pH testing was associated with early readmission following lung transplantation, even after excluding elective readmissions. Exposure to severe acid reflux has measurable effects on early postoperative outcomes such as readmission, and aggressive early antireflux therapy should be considered.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease has been associated with poor outcomes following lung transplantation. We performed a retrospective cohort study to evaluate the relationship between pre-transplant objective parameters of reflux and post-transplant readmission to assess the early effects of reflux on lung allograft. Abnormal reflux parameters on pre-transplant impedance-pH study were associated with early readmission post-lung transplant. The deleterious effects of reflux on lung allograft appear to begin in the early post-operative period.

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