Lung transplantation in the United States, 1999-2008

Am J Transplant. 2010 Apr;10(4 Pt 2):1047-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03055.x.


This article highlights trends and changes in lung and heart-lung transplantation in the United States from 1999 to 2008. While adult lung transplantation grew significantly over the past decade, rates of heart-lung and pediatric lung transplantation have remained low. Since implementation of the lung allocation score (LAS) donor allocation system in 2005, decreases in the number of active waiting list patients, waiting times for lung transplantation and death rates on the waiting list have occurred. However, characteristics of recipients transplanted in the LAS era differed from those transplanted earlier. The proportion of candidates undergoing lung transplantation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease decreased, while increasing for those with pulmonary fibrosis. In the LAS era, older, sicker and previously transplanted candidates underwent transplantation more frequently compared with the previous era. Despite these changes, when compared with the pre-LAS era, 1-year survival after lung transplantation did not significantly change after LAS inception. The long-term effects of the change in the characteristics of lung transplant recipients on overall outcomes for lung transplantation remain unknown. Continued surveillance and refinements to the LAS system will affect the distribution and types of candidates transplanted and hopefully lead to improved system efficiency and outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Heart-Lung Transplantation / mortality
  • Heart-Lung Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Transplantation* / mortality
  • Lung Transplantation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Lung Transplantation* / trends
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / mortality*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / surgery
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / mortality
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists*