BACKGROUND: Air trapping (AT) is one of the hallmarks of allograft dysfunction after lung transplantation (LT). Inert gas‒based ventilation‒perfusion (VQ) lung scintigraphy has excellent sensitivity in the detection of AT. METHODS: We reviewed the charts of patients who underwent single or double LT between January 2012 and December 2014 (N = 193). Patients without a VQ scintigraphy at the first annual visit (n = 16) and those who did not survive till 1 year (n = 26) were excluded (final n = 151, mean age = 55.8 [SD =14] years, male = 85, female = 66). VQ scintigraphy was independently reviewed and reconciled for the presence and severity of AT by 2 investigators blinded to the clinical data (D.F.P. and D.M.). A 3-year post-transplant survival was the primary end-point. RESULTS: AT was common (n = 73, 48.3%). Patients with obstructive lung diseases as the underlying diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.36, 95% CI: 1.64‒11.6; p = 0.003) and those with lower body mass index (BMI) (BMI < 25 kg/m2 and 25‒30 kg/m2; p < 0.001) had an increased risk of developing AT in the allograft. The presence of AT (adjusted OR, 2.33, 95% CI: 1.01‒5.36; p = 0.04) and peak forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) <60% predicted during the first year after LT were independently associated with 3-year mortality. The association of AT with post-transplant mortality was the strongest among patients with BMI <30 kg/m2 and peak FEV1 <60% predicted. CONCLUSIONS: The finding of AT on VQ scintigraphy at the first annual visit after LT is independently associated with worse post-transplant mortality. The sub-group of patients who fail to achieve a peak FEV1 of 60% predicted during the first year after LT appears to be the key driver of this association.
- air trapping
- post-transplant survival
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine