Conference Coverage

Race mismatch may affect survival in lung transplant setting



– Race compatibility is a factor that can affect survival and needs to be considered when matching lung transplant candidates to potential donors, results from a large retrospective analysis suggest.

Dr. Alexis Kofi Okoh of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J. Andrew D. Bowser/MDedge News

Dr. Alexis Kofi Okoh

Specifically, whites had significantly worse survival when receiving lungs from African American donors in this registry analysis, according to study investigator Alexis Kofi Okoh, MD.

By contrast, donor-to-recipient race compatibility (DRRC) did not affect posttransplant survival among African American or Hispanic patients, said Dr. Okoh, who is with the lung transplant division at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J.

While race mismatch has been shown to affect outcomes in kidney, heart, and liver transplant settings, the data for DRRC in lung transplant prior to this analysis generally has been limited to small, single-center studies, according to Dr. Okoh.

“If you do have the option, [race compatibility] should highly be considered, because it clearly has an impact on outcomes,” Dr. Okoh said in an interview here at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Considering the race of both donor and recipient is especially important now that the lung transplant population is becoming more ethnically diverse, he added.

The study was based on an analysis of 19,504 lung transplant recipients in the prospectively maintained United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database during 2006-2018. In that cohort, 16,485 recipients were white, 1,787 were African American, and 1,232 were Hispanic.

Race-matched donor organs were used in two-thirds (66.2%) of white recipients, about one-quarter (26.8%) of African American recipients, and one-third (33.0%) of Hispanic recipients.

Overall, survival post–lung transplant was significantly poorer among recipients who did not receive a race-matched organ in Kaplan-Meier survival estimates, Dr. Okoh said, though, that this effect was diminished after they adjusted for patient baseline characteristics (P = 0.2809).

For African American recipients, the unadjusted and adjusted survival estimates were no different regardless of donor race, and likewise, there were no apparent survival differences between Hispanic recipients who received race matched or mismatched organs.

Survival among white recipients, however, was significantly affected by race of the recipient, with decreased survival estimates noted even after adjustment for patient characteristics, according to Dr. Okoh’s presentation.

Results of regression analysis showed that white recipient/African American donor was the only race mismatch to significantly affect survival, Dr. Okoh said in the interview.

The posttransplant survival hazard ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) reported by Dr. Okoh with a no race mismatch serving as reference were 1.15 (1.08-1.23) for whites with African American donors, and 1.09 (1.01-1.18) for whites with Hispanic donors.

Dr. Okoh and coinvestigators reported no relevant conflicts in relation to their study.

SOURCE: Okoh A et al. CHEST 2019. Abstract, doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.08.220.

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