Lung Function Monitoring After Lung Transplantation and Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Ajay Sheshadri, Naomi C. Sacks, Bridget E. Healey, Sajjad Raza, Gerhard Boerner, Howard J. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in lung transplantation and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) recipients. Clinical guidelines recommend lung function monitoring to aid early identification of BOS, but real-world rates of pulmonary function testing (PFT) have not been studied. The purpose of this study was to quantify PFT rates in lung transplantation and allo-HSCT recipients. Methods: This longitudinal retrospective study used US data from the IQVIA PharMetrics Plus commercial claims database (January 1, 2006–September 30, 2018) and the Medicare Limited Data Set (January 1, 2010–December 31, 2018). Study recipients had no evidence of transplantation 12 months before transplantation, which was identified by using diagnosis and procedure codes. PFTs were identified by using procedure codes. Outcomes were percentage of recipients who received ≥1 PFT in each follow-up year, including spirometry, lung diffusion capacity, lung function volume test, and plethysmography, including the average number of total and specific tests per recipient. Findings: The study identified 367 commercially insured and 1776 Medicare recipients who underwent lung transplantation; 92% and 86% received ≥1 lung function test in the first year after transplantation, respectively. Among recipients observable 3 years after transplant, 85% and 83% received ≥1 PFT. Among 2187 commercially insured and 1864 Medicare recipients who underwent allo-HSCT, 44% and 36% received ≥1 lung function test in the first posttransplant year. In the third year after transplant, only 31% and 26% of observable allo-HSCT recipients underwent any PFT. Implications: Morbidity and mortality from BOS remain high in lung transplant and allo-HSCT recipients, but lung function testing in the first posttransplant year is not universal, with substantially lower rates among allo-HSCT recipients. Furthermore, testing rates in all cohorts declined over time. Increased and sustained monitoring could lead to earlier detection of BOS and earlier intervention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-765.e6
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • BOS
  • allo-HSCT
  • allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome
  • lung function test/pulmonary function test
  • lung transplant


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