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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006 Jan;25(1):99-105. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Impact of donor lung organisms on post-lung transplant pneumonia.

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  • 1Division of Cardiac Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



Fear of transmission of donor organisms that may result in recipient pneumonia has a negative impact on donor lung utilization. We reviewed our experience with routine donor bronchial aspiration and culture at the time of transplantation to study the impact of donor bronchial organisms on the development of recipient post-lung transplant pneumonia (PTP) and other outcomes.


We reviewed 80 consecutive single and bilateral lung transplants (SLTs and BLTs) from August 1998 to August 2001. Pediatric recipients and those not surviving >3 days were excluded. All donors met standard criteria for donor acceptance. All recipients received broad-spectrum antibiotics pending the results of final operating room cultures. PTP required clinical evidence (fever, leukocytosis and hypoxia), radiologic evidence (infiltrate), and culture confirmation during initial hospitalization or within 30 days.


Sixty-four donors for 71 recipients (39 SLTs, 32 BLTs) comprised the study population. Organisms were grown from 57 (89%) donors and 46 were polymicrobial. A total of 149 organisms were cultured consisting of 21 different species, with Staphylococcus (n = 35) and Streptococcus (n = 33) being the most common. PTP was seen in 31 (41%) recipients, with Pseudomonas species (n = 13) the most prevalent. Of the 71 donor-recipient pairs, 2 had both donor and recipient with no growth and PTP. The donor organisms had a sensitivity of 0.75 with a low specificity of 0.04 and were negatively correlated with development of PTP. PTP was an independent predictor of overall mortality.


The presence of donor organisms does not predict PTP. Therefore, donor acceptance criteria need to be re-examined.

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