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Airway complications after lung transplantation: benefit of a conservative bronchoscopy strategy

Abstract : Background: After lung transplantation (LT), between 2% and 25% of bronchial anastomoses develop complications requiring therapeutic intervention. The status of healing of both bronchial anastomoses and downhill airways are well described by the French consensual MDS standardized grading system (Macroscopic, Diameter, Suture). We analyzed risks factors for airway complications (AC) after transplantation and the way we managed them. We report here our challenging method of early rigid bronchoscopic intervention with airway stenting on bronchial healing. Methods: All single center consecutives LTs were retrospectively analyzed between 2010-2016. Patient-level data (demographic, peri-operative data) and anastomosis-level data (surgical parameters, bronchoscopy findings) were monitored. The incidence and contributive factors of ACs are reported. We also reported modalities of the conservative treatment and outcome. Results: A total of 121 LTs were performed, 39 single-lung and 82 bilateral sequential LT. Main indication for LT were cystic fibrosis (45%) and emphysema (25%) and 58 were male patients (n=70). After a waiting period of healing, 28 patients presented AC on 41 anastomoses (prevalence: 23%). A multivariate analysis found as contributive factors of ACs, post-operative infection by Aspergillus [odds ratio (OR) 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-6.75; P=0.033] at the patient level, and at the anastomasis level, emphysema (OR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.02-5.6; P=0.045), early dehiscence (OR 11.2, 95% CI: 1.7-76; P=0.01) and cold ischemia time >264 min (OR 2.45, 95% CI: 1.08-5.6; P=0.03). All the 41 ACs were managed conservatively with rigid bronchoscopy (range, 1-10), 41 stents (21 in silicone and 20 fully-covered Silicone Expandable Metallic Stents) without major complication. 717wo AC were still under regular bronchoscopic care and silicone stenting for long left bronchus reason. No surgical intervention was needed. The 2-years overall survival rate where not different between AC group and controls, respectively 85% and 81%. Conclusions: Airway healing after transplantation remains a scalable process and the French consensual MDS classification helped us for therapeutic decisions. Rigid bronchoscopy and safety use of current stenting devices may have the pivotal role in the conservative management of ACs, avoiding perilous situation of surgery for AC. Despite a high rate of AC, their favorable evolution may be explained by the cautious care of airway healing and maybe by the use of the Celsior antioxidant solution.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 11:06:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 3:26:39 AM

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Arnaud Patoir, Antoine Luchez, Olivier Tiffet, Paul Vercherin, Renaud Grima, et al.. Airway complications after lung transplantation: benefit of a conservative bronchoscopy strategy. Journal of Thoracic Disease, AME Publishing Company, 2020, 12 (5), pp.2625-2634. ⟨10.21037/jtd.2020.03.21⟩. ⟨hal-03151995⟩



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