Objective: To review the 10-year clinical experience of a single institution's adult lung transplant program.
Methods: Since July 1988, 450 lung transplants have been performed in 443 patients. Recipient diagnoses included emphysema in 229 patients, cystic fibrosis in 70 patients, pulmonary fibrosis in 48 patients, pulmonary hypertension in 49 patients, and miscellaneous end-stage lung diseases in 47 patients. Single-lung transplant was performed in 157 cases, bilateral sequential lung transplant in 283 cases, en bloc double-lung transplant in 8 cases, and heart-lung transplant in 2 cases. Graft lungs were obtained from local donors in 24% of cases and from distant donors in 76% of cases. Ideal donors were used in 74% of cases; in 26%, the donor was classified as marginal based on objective criteria.
Results: Four hundred six (91.6%) lung transplant recipients survived to hospital discharge. There were 37 hospital deaths from cardiac events (n = 8), primary graft failure (n = 8), sepsis (n = 6), anastomotic dehiscence (n = 6), and other causes (n = 9). A diagnosis of chronic rejection (bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome [BOS]) was made in 191 patients (42.5%). BOS has not been improved by any specific therapy. Rates of freedom from BOS at 1, 3, and 5 years after the transplant are 82%, 42%, and 25%. One-, 3-, and 5-year actuarial survival rate for the entire group are 83%, 70%, and 54%. There is no statistical difference in survival according to diagnosis or type of lung transplant. Recipient waiting time was 116 days in the first 90 patients and 634 days in the most recent 90 patients.
Conclusions: Lung transplantation offers patients with end-stage lung disease acceptable prospects for 5-year survival. Chronic rejection and long waiting lists for donor lungs continue to be major problems facing lung transplant programs. The use of marginal and distant donors is a successful strategy in improving donor availability.