JOURNAL ARTICLE

Survival impact of lung transplantation for COPD

S Lahzami, P O Bridevaux, P M Soccal, J Wellinger, J H Robert, H B Ris, J D Aubert
European Respiratory Journal 2010, 36 (1): 74-80
19996194
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the primary indication for lung transplantation (LTx), but survival benefit is still under debate. We analysed the survival impact of LTx in COPD with a new approach, using the BODE (body mass index, airway obstruction, dyspnoea, exercise capacity) index. We retrospectively reviewed 54 consecutive lung transplants performed for COPD. The pre-transplant BODE score was calculated for each patient and a predicted survival was derived from the survival functions of the original BODE index validation cohort. Predicted and observed post-transplant survival was then compared. In the subgroups with a BODE score >or=7 and <7, a majority of patients (66% and 69%, respectively) lived for longer after LTx than predicted by their individual BODE index. The median survival was significantly improved in the entire cohort and in the subgroup with a BODE score >or=7. 4 yrs after LTx a survival benefit was only apparent in patients with a pre-transplant BODE score of >or=7. In conclusion, while a majority of COPD patients had an individual survival benefit from LTx regardless of their pre-transplant BODE score, a global survival benefit was seen only in patients with more severe disease. This supports the use of the BODE index as a selection criteria for LTx candidates.

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