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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2010 May;29(5):531-7. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Azithromycin is associated with increased survival in lung transplant recipients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. rjain@dom.wustl.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies have suggested that azithromycin improves lung function in lung transplant recipients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). However, these studies did not include a non-treated BOS control cohort or perform survival analysis. This study was undertaken to estimate the effect of azithromycin treatment on survival in lung transplant recipients with BOS.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive lung transplant recipients who developed BOS between 1999 and 2007. An association between azithromycin treatment and death was assessed using univariate and multivariate time-dependent Cox regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Of the 178 recipients who developed BOS in our study, 78 did so after 2003 and were treated with azithromycin. The azithromycin-treated and untreated cohorts had similar baseline characteristics. Univariate analysis demonstrated that azithromycin treatment was associated with a survival advantage and this beneficial treatment effect was more pronounced when treatment was initiated during BOS Stage 1. Multivariate analysis demonstrated azithromycin treatment during BOS Stage 1 (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.23, p = 0.01) and absolute forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)) at the time of BOS Stage 1 (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.52, p = 0.003) were both associated with a decreased risk of death.

CONCLUSIONS:

In lung transplant recipients with BOS Stage 1, azithromycin treatment initiated before BOS Stage 2 was independently associated with a significant reduction in the risk of death. This finding supports the need for a randomized, controlled trial to confirm the impact of azithromycin on survival in lung transplant recipients.

PMID:
20133163
PMCID:
PMC2854291
DOI:
10.1016/j.healun.2009.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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