Bilateral versus single lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Sven Lehmann, Madlen Uhlemann, Sergey Leontyev, Joerg Seeburger, Jens Garbade, Denis R Merk, Hartmuth B Bittner, Friedrich W Mohr
Experimental and Clinical Transplantation 2014, 12 (5): 443-7

OBJECTIVES: It is unknown if uni- or bilateral lung transplant is best for treatment of usual idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We reviewed our single-center experience comparing both treatments.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 2002 and 2011, one hundred thirty-eight patients at our institution underwent a lung transplant. Of these, 58 patients presented with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (56.9%) and were the focus of this study.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients received a single lung transplant and 19 patients a bilateral sequential lung transplant. The mean patient age was 54 ± 10 years, and 69% were male. The intraoperative course was uneventful, save for 7 patients who needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Three patients had respiratory failure before the lung transplant that required mechanical ventilation and was supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Elevated pulmonary artery pressure > 40 mm Hg was identified as an independent predictor of early mortality by uni- and multivariate analysis (P = .01; OR 9.7). Using a Cox regression analysis, postoperative extracorporeal membrane oxyge-nation therapy (P = .01; OR 10.2) and the need for > 10 red blood cell concentrate during the first 72 hours after lung transplant (P = .01; OR 5.6) were independent predictors of long-term survival. Actuarial survival at 1 and 5 years was 65.6% and 55.3%, with no significant between-group differences (70.6% and 54.3%).

CONCLUSIONS: Lung transplant is a safe and curative treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. According to our results, unilateral lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is an alternative to bilateral lung transplant and may affect the allocation process.

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