Thirteen-year experience in lung transplantation for emphysema

Stephen D. Cassivi, Bryan F. Meyers, Richard J. Battafarano, Tracey J. Guthrie, Elbert P. Trulock, John P. Lynch, Joel D. Cooper, G. Alexander Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Background. Emphysema is the most common indication for lung transplantation. Recipients include younger patients with genetically determined alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AAD) and, more commonly, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We analyzed the results of our single-institution series of lung transplants for emphysema to identify outcome differences and factors predicting mortality and morbidity in these two groups. Methods. A retrospective analysis was undertaken of the 306 consecutive lung transplants for emphysema performed at our institution between 1988 and 2000 (220 COPD, 86 AAD). Follow-up was complete and averaged 3.7 years. Results. The mean age of AAD recipients (49 ± 6 years) was less than those with COPD (55 ± 6 years; p < 0.001). Hospital mortality was 6.2%, with no difference between COPD and AAD, or between single-lung transplants and bilateral-lung transplants. Hospital mortality during the most recent 6 years was significantly lower (3.9% vs 9.5%, p = 0.044). Five-year survival was 58.6% ± 3.5%, with no difference between COPD (56.8% ± 4.4%) and AAD (60.5% ± 5.8%). Five-year survival was better with bilateral-lung transplants (66.7% ± 4.0%) than with singlelung transplants (44.9% ± 6.0%, p < 0.005). Independent predictors of mortality by Cox analysis were single lung transplantation (relative hazard = 1.98, p < 0.001), and need for cardiopulmonary bypass during the transplant (relative hazard = 1.84, p = 0.038). Conclusions. AAD recipients, despite a younger age, do not achieve significantly superior survival results than those with COPD. Bilateral lung transplantation for emphysema results in better long-term survival. Accumulated experience and modifications in perioperative care over our 13-year series may explain recently improved early and long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1670
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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