Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and aspiration of enteric contents is associated with worse outcomes after lung transplant. The purpose of this study is to elucidate populations that benefit the most from fundoplication after lung transplant.
Lung transplants from 2001-2019 (n=971) were retrospectively reviewed and stratified by a fundoplication before (n=128) or after (n=24) chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) development vs those who didn’t. Patients with a fundoplication prior to CLAD were propensity-matched to those without a fundoplication. The primary outcome of interest was post-transplant survival. Time-to-event rates were calculated using a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model and Kaplan-Meier functions.
A fundoplication prior to CLAD improved post-transplant survival before and after propensity-matching, and remained a significant predictor after adjusting for baseline characteristics (HR:0.57, 95% CI:0.4-0.8, P=0.001). Recipients with a restrictive disorder (HR: 0.46, 95% CI:0.3-0.73, P=0.001), age <65 (HR:0.48, 95% CI:0.32-0.71, P<0.001), and both single (HR:0.47, 95% CI:0.28-0.79, P=0.005) or double (HR:0.55, 95% CI:0.32-0.93, P=0.027) lung transplants had a significant decrease in mortality after fundoplication. The effect was present after excluding early deaths and/or CLAD diagnoses. GERD diagnosed by pH, impedance or EGD was not associated with worse outcomes. Among patients with CLAD, a fundoplication was an independent predictor of post-CLAD survival (HR:0.27, 95% CI:0.12-0.61, P=0.002).
A fundoplication before or after CLAD development is an independent predictor of survival. Younger patients with restrictive disease, independent of the type of transplant, have a survival benefit. GERD diagnosed by conventional methods was not associated with worse survival.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.