Minimal acute rejection after lung transplantation: A risk for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome

Anthony P. Khalifah, Ramsey R. Hachem, Murali M. Chakinala, Roger D. Yusen, Aviva Aloush, G. Alexander Patterson, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Elbert P. Trulock, Michael J. Walter

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150 Scopus citations


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a major cause of lung allograft dysfunction. Although previous studies have identified mild to severe rejection (grade ≥A2) as a risk factor for BOS, the role of minimal rejection (grade A1) remains unclear. To determine if A1 rejection by itself is a risk factor for BOS, we performed a retrospective cohort study on 228 adult lung transplant recipients over a 7-year period. Cohorts were defined by their most severe rejection episode (none, A1 only, and ≥A2) and analyzed for the subsequent development and progression of BOS using univariate and multivariate time-dependent Cox regression analysis. In the univariate model, the occurrence of isolated minimal rejection was a risk factor for all stages of BOS. Similarly, multivariate models that included HLA mismatch, cytomegalovirus pneumonitis, community acquired viral infection, underlying disease and type of transplant demonstrated that A1 rejection was a distinct risk factor for BOS. Furthermore, the associated risk with A1 rejection was slightly greater than the risk from ≥A2 and treatment of Al rejection decreased the risk for subsequent BOS stage 1. We conclude that minimal rejection is associated with an increased risk for BOS development and progression that is comparable to A2 rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2022-2030
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome
  • Lung transplantation
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Rejection
  • Risk factors


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