Background: Tracheostomy is an important adjunct for lung transplant patients requiring prolonged ventilation. We explored the effects of post-transplant tracheostomy on survival and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplant. Methods: A retrospective, single center analysis was performed on all lung transplant recipients during the Lung Allocation Score (LAS) era. Risk factors for post-transplant tracheostomy or death within 30 days were assessed. Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between tracheostomy within 30 days after transplant and survival at 1 and 3 years. A total of 403 patients underwent single or bilateral lung transplant between May 2005 and February 2016 with complete data for 352 cases, and 35 patients (9.9%) underwent tracheostomy or died (N = 10, 2.8%) within 30 days. Results: In adjusted analyses, primary graft dysfunction grade 3 (PGD3) was associated with a composite end point of tracheostomy or death within 30 days (HR 3.11 (1.69, 5.71), P-value <.001). Tracheostomy within 30 days was associated with decreased survival at 1(HR 4.25 [1.75, 10.35] P-value =.001) and 3 years (HR 2.74 [1.30, 5.76], P-value =.008), as well as decreased bronchiolitis obliterans (BOS)-free survival at 1 (HR 1.87 [1.02, 3.41] P-value =.042) and 3 years (HR 2.15 [1.33, 3.5], P-value =.002). Conclusion: Post-transplant tracheostomy is a marker for advanced lung allograft dysfunction with significant reduction in long-term overall and BOS-free survival.
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