Disease progression in patients with the restrictive and mixed phenotype of Chronic Lung Allograft dysfunction : a retrospective analysis in five European centers to assess the feasibility of a therapeutic trial.


Chronic Lung Allograft Dysfunction (CLAD) is a major obstacle for long term survival after lung transplantation (LTx). Besides Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome, two other phenotypes of CLAD, restrictive allograft syndrome (RAS) and mixed phenotype, have been described. Trials to test in these conditions are desperately needed and analyzing natural outcome to plan such trials is essential.


We performed a retrospective analysis of functional outcome in bilateral LTx recipients with RAS and mixed phenotype, transplanted between 2009 and 2018 in five large European centers with follow- up spirometry up to 12 months after diagnosis. Based on these data, sample size and power calculations for randomized therapeutic trial was estimated using two imputation methods for missing values.


Seventy patients were included (39 RAS and 31 mixed phenotype), median 3.1 years after LTx when CLAD was diagnosed. Eight, 13 and 25 patients died within 6, 9 and 12 months after diagnosis and a two patients underwent re-transplantation within 12 months leading to a graft survival of 89, 79 and 61% six, nine and 12 months after diagnosis, respectively. Observed FEV1 decline was 451 ml at 6 months and stabilized at 9 and 12 months, while FVC showed continuous decline. Using two methods of imputation, a progressive further decline after 6 months for FEV1 was noted.


The poor outcome of these two specific CLAD phenotypes suggests the urgent need for future therapeutic randomized trials. The number of missing values in a potential trial seems to be high and most frequently attributed to death. Survival may be used as an endpoint in clinical trials in these distinct phenotypes and imputation techniques are relevant if graft function is used as a surrogate of disease progression in future trials.


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