Primary graft dysfunction (PGD), a form of acute lung injury occurring within 72 h following lung transplantation, is characterized by pulmonary edema and diffuse alveolar damage. We hypothesized that higher concentrations of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and von Willebrand factor (vWF) would be associated with the occurrence of PGD. A total of 128 lung transplant recipients among 7 lung transplant centers were enrolled in a multicenter, prospective, cohort study. Blood specimens were collected preoperatively and at 6, 24, 48 and 72 h following lung transplantation. The primary outcome was Grade 3 PGD at 72 h after transplant. Logistic regression and generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to analyze plasma ICAM-1 and vWF. At each postoperative timepoint, mean plasma ICAM-1 concentrations were higher for patients with PGD versus no PGD. The GEE contrast estimate for the association of plasma ICAM-1 with PGD was 107.5 ng/mL (95% CI 38.7, 176.3), p = 0.002. In the multivariate analyses, this finding was independent of all clinical variables except pulmonary artery pressures prior to transplant. There was no association between plasma vWF levels and PGD. We conclude that higher levels of plasma ICAM-1 are associated with PGD following lung transplantation. © 2007 The Authors.