Short lung transplant donor telomere length is associated with decreased CLAD-free survival
Telomere length (TL) decreases with cellular ageing and biological stressors. As advanced donor and recipient ages are risk factors for chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD), we hypothesised that decreased age-adjusted donor TL would predict earlier onset of CLAD. Shorter donor TL was associated with increased risk of CLAD or death (HR 1.26 per 1 kb TL decrease, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.54), particularly for young donors. Recipient TL was associated with cytopenias but not CLAD. Shorter TL was also seen in airway epithelium for subjects progressing to CLAD (p=0.02). Allograft TL may contribute to CLAD pathogenesis and facilitate risk stratification.