Respiratory viral infections are a distinct risk for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and death

Anthony P. Khalifah, Ramsey R. Hachem, Murali M. Chakinala, Kenneth B. Schechtman, G. Alexander Patterson, Daniel P. Schuster, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Elbert P. Trulock, Michael J. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

298 Scopus citations


Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the major obstacle to long-term survival after lung transplantation, in part because its pathogenesis is poorly understood and treatment options are limited. To identify unique risk factors for BOS and death, we performed a retrospective cohort study on 259 consecutive adult lung transplant recipients over a 5-year period. The demographic and clinical characteristics of this population were analyzed for an association between BOS or death and potential risk factors, including community-acquired respiratory viral (CARV) infections, acute rejection, and cytomegalovirus pneumonitis. Respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza, influenza, and adenovirus accounted for 21 CARV infections. Univariate and multivariate time-dependent Cox regression analyses demonstrated that this CARV group was more likely to develop BOS, death, and death from BOS. Furthermore, these trends were more pronounced in patients with evidence of lower respiratory tract-CARV (lower-CARV) infections. Notably, the CARV and lower-CARV infections were risk factors for BOS, death, and death from BOS distinct from the risk attributable to acute rejection. Identification of CARV and lower-CARV infections as BOS and mortality risk factors has important clinical implications and may provide insight into disease pathogenesis and accelerate the development of novel treatment strategies to modify post-CARV BOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2004


  • Bronchiolitis obliterans
  • Graft rejection
  • Lung transplantation
  • Risk factors
  • Viruses


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