Lung transplantation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at St Vincent's Hospital

A Güneş, C L Aboyoun, J M Morton, M Plit, M A Malouf, A R Glanville
Internal Medicine Journal 2006, 36 (1): 5-11

BACKGROUND: Lung transplantation (LTx) offers selected patients with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an improved quality of life and possibly enhanced survival.

AIM: To determine local outcomes of LTx for COPD we analysed 173 consecutive heart-LTx (n = 8), single LTx (SLTx; n = 99) and bilateral LTx (BLTx; n = 66) carried out at a single institution during 1989-2003 for smoking-related emphysema (E) (n = 112) and emphysema related to alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) (n = 61).

METHODS: There were 98 men and 75 women with a mean age of 50 +/- 6 years (standard deviation) (range 32-63 years). Median waiting time was 113 days (interquartile range (IQR) 50-230 days), and median inpatient stay was 13 days (IQR 9-21 days).

RESULTS: Perioperative survival (30 days) was 95% with deaths from sepsis (n = 5), cerebrovascular accident (n = 3) and multiorgan failure (n = 1). Mean follow-up period was 1693 +/- 1302 days (2-4,805 days). The 1-, 5- and 10-year survivals (%) were similar for patients with E and AATD (P = 0.480 log rank) at 86 +/- 5, 57 +/- 7 and 31 +/- 11, respectively, but 1- and 5-year survivals for E were higher after BLTx than after SLTx (97 +/- 2 and 81 +/- 8 vs 85 +/- 4 and 47 +/- 6) (P = 0.015). Pretransplant body mass index, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced vital capacity, PaCO(2), PaO(2), six-minute walk distance, home oxygen use, age, sex, cytomegalovirus donor-recipient mismatch, cardiopulmonary bypass use, year of transplant and ischaemic time did not influence survival after LTx. Increasing donor age was a survival risk factor for patients with E but not for those with AATD (hazard ratio 1.043; 95%confidence interval 1.014-1.025).

CONCLUSION: Survival after LTx for COPD is similar to survival for other forms of solid organ transplantation, in part reflecting risk factor management.

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