Bone Health Outcomes in Post-Lung Transplant Patients with Cystic Fibrosis




Tran, Triet Vincent Minh

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BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis is a common comorbidity in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although lung transplantation (LTx) improves quality of life of CF patients, there is little research examining long-term bone health outcomes following LTx in these patients. OBJECTIVE: We sought to compare long-term bone health outcomes in LTx patients with and without CF, as well as determine factors associated with adverse bone health in CF patients. METHODS: Data were collected on 59 patients who underwent LTx between 2006-2019, including 30 with CF and 29 without CF. We compared baseline characteristics, long-term bone mineral density (BMD) trends, and fracture incidence between the two patient populations, and examined factors associated with post-LTx fractures in CF patients. RESULTS: Compared with non-CF patients, patients with CF were younger, had lower body mass index, and lower baseline BMD Z-scores at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total hip (all p<0.001). BMD at all sites declined in both groups in the first year post-LTx. In subsequent years, CF patients exhibited better BMD recovery relative to pre-transplantation, but continued to have lower BMD post-LTx. Post-transplant fractures occurred in 30% and 34% of CF and non-CF patients, respectively. CF patients who developed fractures after LTx had significantly lower BMD and lower pre-transplantation percent predicted forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1%). CONCLUSION: Although CF patients exhibit better BMD recovery following LTx compared to their non-CF counterparts, CF patients start with significantly lower pre-LTx BMD and experience a similarly high rate of post-LTx fractures. These findings highlight the unique contribution of the CF disease process to bone health, as well as a clear need for better prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in CF patients before and after LTx.

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