Venous Thromboembolism After Adult Lung Transplantation: A Frequent Event Associated With Lower Survival
The incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after lung transplantation (LTX) varies significantly across studies. Two studies have suggested that these thrombotic events are associated with a lower posttransplant survival. Herein, we sought to determine the incidence, predictors, and impact of VTE on survival after LTX at a quaternary referral center.Methods
This was a large cohort study of LTX recipients. Key outcome parameters were time to VTE after transplant and survival. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosis required a positive ultrasound. Pulmonary embolism diagnosis required either a positive chest computed tomography angiogram or a high-probability ventilation/perfusion scan.Results
The overall incidence of VTE among 701 LTX recipients was 43.8%, of which 97.7% were DVT episodes, of which 71.3% were in the upper extremities. Predictors of VTE were prior history of DVT (hazard ratio [HR], 2.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-5.37), days in intensive care (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02), and the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (HR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.43-3.45). Importantly, VTE predicted a lower posttransplant survival (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.28-2.26), when occurring within or after the first 30 days. The location of the DVT, either upper extremity or below the knee, also predicted a poor survival.Conclusions
VTE was frequent in LTX recipients and predicted a poor survival even when located in the upper extremities or below the knee. These data suggest that aggressive VTE screening/treatment protocols be implemented in post-LTX population.