HLA-A LOCUS MISMATCHES AND DEVELOPMENT OF ANTIBODIES TO HLA AFTER LUNG TRANSPLANTATION CORRELATE WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF BRONCHIOLITIS OBLITERANS SYNDROME1

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Abstract

Background.

Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality after lung transplantation (LT). A retrospective analysis of clinical and immunologic variables were done to identify those that might predict the development of BOS.

Methods.

Of 112 LT performed over a 42-month interval, 94 survived at least 3 months and form the basis of this analysis. There was a minimum of 21 months follow-up. BOS was defined on the basis of declining spirometry (FEV1 <80% of baseline) and/or the presence of histologic obliterative bronchiolitis. All variables analyzed were subjected first to a univariate analysis; those variables appearing to carry significance were then subjected to a multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results.

Univariate analysis revealed the following to be predictors of the development of BOS: age (the probability of developing BOS declined with advancing age); donor/recipient HLA-A locus mismatch, with actuarial freedom from BOS being significantly greater with no A-locus mismatches versus cases with one or two mismatches (P=0.031); and development of anti-HLA antibodies after transplantation (P=0.006 vs. recipients without detectable antibodies). In multivariate analysis, only HLA locus mismatch and development of anti-HLA antibodies were significant independent predictors of the development of BOS. The remaining clinical variables (gender, type of LT, indication for LT, graft ischemic time, use of cardiopulmonary bypass, cytomegalovirus) and immunologic variables(crossmatch, frequent early acute rejection) did not correlate with the development of BOS.

Conclusions.

These data suggest that BOS is the result of an immune process, that differences at the HLA-A locus may play an important role in this process, and antibody-mediated injury may play a role in BOS.

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