Alcohol use before lung transplant increases time in hospital and on ventilator

May 16, 2018, Loyola University Health System

Lung transplant patients who showed evidence of alcohol use before their transplants spent more time in the hospital and on the ventilator, according to a study by Loyola University Chicago and Loyola Medicine researchers.

The study by Erin M. Lowery, MD, and colleagues is published in the journal Clinical Transplantation.

The prospective observational study followed 86 . Thirty-four percent reported they were moderate drinkers before their transplants and 10 percent tested positive for recent use at the time of their transplants.

Patients showing evidence of recent alcohol use spent 1.5 times longer in the hospital, three times as long on ventilators and nearly three times as long in the intensive care unit, compared with patients who did not have recent alcohol use.

There were no differences in dysfunction of the transplanted lung, although several patients with recent alcohol use had post-transplant kidney injuries, rejection episodes and irregular heartbeats called atrial arrhythmias.

The findings suggest that abstaining from alcohol while waiting for a transplant "may be one additional factor that the patient can control in order to stay heathy and prepared for surgery and potentially optimizing their lung transplant outcome," Dr. Lowery and colleagues wrote.

Loyola's lung transplant program advises patients waiting for lung transplants to abstain from alcohol. Following transplants, patients should continue to abstain to prevent harmful drug interactions.

Previous studies have found that in the general population, (including binge drinking and heavy drinking) negatively affects the lungs in several ways, including decreased lung function and an increased risk of pneumonia. But there has been little prior research on alcohol use in people with advanced lung disease.

Dr. Lowery is an assistant professor in Loyola Medicine's division of pulmonary and critical care medicine and Loyola University Chicago's Alcohol Research Program. In addition to Dr. Lowery, other co-authors are Meagan Yong and Arala Cohen of the Alcohol Research Program; Cara Joyce, Ph.D., of Loyola University Chicago's department of public health sciences; and Elizabeth J. Kovacs, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The study is titled "Recent alcohol use prolongs hospital length of stay following lung transplant." It was supported by grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

For 30 years, Loyola has operated the largest and most successful lung transplant program in Illinois. Loyola has performed more than 900 -more than all other Illinois centers combined. Loyola's multidisciplinary team regularly evaluates and successfully performs transplants in patients who have been turned down by other centers in Chicago and surrounding states. Despite taking on more challenging cases, Loyola consistently records outstanding outcomes.

Explore further: Lung transplant patients do worse with lungs from heavy drinkers

Related Stories

Lung transplant patients do worse with lungs from heavy drinkers

January 20, 2015
Lung transplant patients who receive lungs from heavy drinkers are nearly nine times more likely to experience a life-threatening complication called primary graft dysfunction, a Loyola University Medical Center study has ...

Vitamin D deficiency shown to increase rejection rates in lung transplant patients

April 25, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in lung transplant rejection and infections, according to research conducted at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). Researchers also found that recipients ...

Loyola patient receives one of the world's quickest lung transplants

April 24, 2014
A Loyola University Medical Center patient has received one of the world's quickest lung transplants. Kenneth Baumgardner received the transplant just six days after going on the waiting list. And he went home after spending ...

Simple blood test identifies critically ill patients who misuse alcohol, study finds

November 9, 2017
A simple blood test for a compound called PEth can accurately identify critically ill hospital patients who misuse alcohol, a study has found.

Recommended for you

Father's nicotine use can cause cognitive problems in children and grandchildren

October 16, 2018
A father's exposure to nicotine may cause cognitive deficits in his children and even grandchildren, according to a study in mice publishing on October 16 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Pradeep Bhide of Florida ...

Study finds evidence of intergenerational transmission of trauma among ex-POWs from the Civil War

October 16, 2018
A trio of researchers affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research has found evidence that suggests men who were traumatized while POWs during the U.S. Civil War transmitted that trauma to their offspring—many ...

Marker may help target treatments for Crohn's patients

October 16, 2018
Crohn's disease (CD), a chronic inflammatory condition of the intestinal tract, has emerged as a global disease, with rates steadily increasing over the last 50 years. Experts have long suspected that CD likely represents ...

Polio: Environmental monitoring will be key as world reaches global eradication

October 15, 2018
Robust environmental monitoring should be used as the world approaches global eradication of polio, say University of Michigan researchers who recently studied the epidemiology of the 2013 silent polio outbreak in Rahat, ...

Study traces hospital-acquired bloodstream infections to patients' own bodies

October 15, 2018
The most common source of a bloodstream infection acquired during a hospital stay is not a nurse's or doctor's dirty hands, or another patient's sneeze or visitor's cough, but the patient's own gut, Stanford University School ...

Researchers make essential imaging tests safer for people at risk of acute kidney injury

October 15, 2018
Every year, millions of people undergo medical tests and procedures, such as coronary angiography, which use intravascular contrast dyes. "For the majority of patients, these are safe and necessary procedures. However, about ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.