American Journal of Transplantation vol:6 issue:6 pages:1486-1492
Endogenous airway acidification, as assessed by the condensate pH, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of inflammatory airway diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma. The aim of this study was to investigate the pH of condensate in patients after lung transplantation (LTX). From the cohort of transplanted patients at our center, 83 patients (9 heart-lung transplantation, 48 double-lung transplantation, 26 single-lung transplantation) were recruited and analyzed in a cross-sectional manner: 26 patients were diagnosed with chronic rejection or bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), 7 patients were diagnosed with acute rejection (AR) while 50 patients had no evidence of rejection according to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation criteria. The condensate pH was significantly reduced in patients with BOS and AR when compared to patients without rejection and control subjects (5.8 +/- 0.5 and 6.2 +/- 0.4 versus 6.6 +/- 0.4 and 6.5 +/- 0 .4, respectively; p < 0.05). Moreover, there was a significant correlation between condensate pH levels and the BOS grade (r =-0.62; p < 0.01), the FEV(1) (r = 0.39; p < 0.01) and the total cell and neutrophil count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (r =-0.39 and r =-0.56, respectively; p < 0.01). Airway acidification occurs in BOS and may directly or indirectly reflect airway inflammation in patients with allograft rejection after LTX. Measuring condensate pH might thus be a new tool for the evaluation of rejection in lung transplant patients.