Objective: Between January 1993 and May 1998, we performed 200 consecutive bilateral lung volume reduction operations. After initial assessment, 99 of these patients were eligible for lung volume reduction and potentially eligible for immediate or eventual lung transplantation on the basis of age and absence of contraindications. All chose to proceed with lung volume reduction surgery. The outcomes of these 99 patients are reviewed to assess the consequences of proceeding with lung volume reduction surgery on patients potentially eligible for lung transplantation.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed with the use of a prospectively assembled computer database.
Results: The 61 men and 38 women were 55 +/- 7 years old at evaluation for lung volume reduction. Mean values for first second expired volume, total lung capacity, and residual volume were 24% +/- 8%, 141% +/- 19%, and 294% +/- 54% predicted. There were 4 operative deaths and 17 late deaths. Two-year and 5-year survival after evaluation for lung volume reduction are 92% and 75%. The 32 patients who have been listed for transplantation after lung volume reduction include 15 who have undergone transplantation, 14 who remain on the list, and 3 who have been removed from the list. All 15 transplant recipients survived transplantation and 3 have subsequently died of rejection or late infection. The 12 living recipients have a median post-transplantation follow-up of 1.7 years. The age at transplantation was 58 +/- 5 years with transplantation occurring 3.8 +/- 1.1 years after lung volume reduction. Sixteen of 99 patients underwent lower lobe volume reduction with an increased rate of listing (63%, P =.008) and transplantation (38%, P =.003) compared with patients undergoing upper lobe volume reduction. Patients listed for transplantation were younger, more impaired, and experienced less benefit from lung volume reduction than patients not yet listed for transplantation.
Conclusions: The preliminary use of lung volume reduction in patients potentially suitable for transplantation does not appear to jeopardize the chances for subsequent successful transplantation.