Background: In 1997, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health established a Registry to better characterize the demographic, clinical, physiologic and radiographic features of patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Herein we report data collected at enrollment from patients who had either undergone transplant prior to enrollment, underwent transplant during the 5-year study, or were evaluated/wait-listed for lung transplant during the 5-year study.
Methods: The LAM Registry enrolled patients from six clinical centers between August 1998 and October 2001. On entry, patients filled-out questionnaires covering their medical history, symptoms, treatment and quality of life (SF-36 and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire). Enrollees underwent blood laboratory work and testing for arterial blood gases and pulmonary function. Follow-up was done at 6-month and/or yearly intervals. Diagnoses were confirmed by biopsy or typical clinical presentation plus computerized tomography (CT) findings confirmed by independent expert radiologists. A total of 243 women were enrolled. Of these, 13 (5.3%) had been transplanted at time of entry (Group A), 21 (8.6%) were transplanted during the study (Group B), and 48 (19.8%) were either wait-listed for transplant or underwent evaluation after enrollment during the study period (Group C). The remaining 161 (66.3%) registrants were neither considered for nor listed for transplant during the Registry period (Group D).
Results: One-third of patients in a large sample of LAM patients had either been transplanted or were being considered for transplant. At enrollment, patients who had already been transplanted and those not in need of transplant (Groups A and D) had better pulmonary function and quality-of-life scores compared with patients who subsequently underwent lung transplant during the Registry period (Group B).
Conclusions: In this large Registry of LAM patients, lung transplantation appears to be associated both with significantly improved lung function and quality of life compared with patients with advanced disease.