Background: Combined transplantation of the lungs and liver is indicated for patients who would not be expected to survive transplantation of either organ alone. No single center has accumulated a significant experience, and as a result the expectations for this operation in the current era are unknown.
Methods: Patients that have undergone combined lung-liver transplantation in the United States were enrolled through the United Network for Organ Sharing Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network database. In addition, the English-language literature was searched for additional cases of combined lung-liver transplantation.
Results: Eleven patients have undergone combined lung and liver transplantation in the United States at different centers. The 1- and 5-year patient survival rates are of 79% and 63%, respectively, and no patient has required retransplantation. These patient survival rates are equivalent to similar a combined lung-liver case series from the United Kingdom (P=0.37, log-rank test) and isolated orthotopic liver transplantation in the United States (P=0.59, log-rank test), and are comparable to patient survival rates following isolated lung transplantation in the United States.
Conclusions: Patient survival of combined lung-liver transplantation is comparable to that of isolated liver and isolated bilateral lung transplantation. This option should be considered for patients with end-stage lung disease and liver disease when transplantation of a single organ transplantation is precluded by severe disease in the other organ system.