Lung Volume Reduction Surgery Before Lung Transplantation: A Propensity-Matched Analysis

Ann Thorac Surg. 2022 Feb;113(2):491-497. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.02.009. Epub 2021 Feb 17.


Background: Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) is treatment option for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the second most common indication for lung transplantation (LTx) in the United States. Lung volume reduction surgery before LTx is controversial. Single-institution studies report contradicting results, and the impact of undergoing LVRS before LTx on outcomes after LTx is unclear.

Methods: We reviewed the United Network for Organ Sharing database for all adults (aged more than 18 years) who underwent first-time LTx for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the lung allocation score era. We used patient demographic and clinical characteristics and lung allocation score to propensity match patients who did and patients who did not undergo LVRS before LTx. The primary exposure was prior LVRS. The primary outcome was graft failure after LTx. Unadjusted Kaplan-Meier and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess outcomes.

Results: A total of 4905 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease underwent LTx between May 2005 and March 2017. Of them, 107 patients (2.2%) underwent LVRS before LTx. Propensity matching generated 212 matches (106 LVRS+LTx, and 106 LTx only). Median survival was significantly longer in the LTx only cohort (6.5 vs 3.4 years, P = .034). Lung volume reduction surgery before lung transplantation was associated with significantly increased risk of graft failure after lung transplant (hazard ratio 1.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 2.60; P = .01).

Conclusions: In this national, propensity-matched analysis of LVRS before LTx, we show that LVRS is associated with a significantly increased risk of graft failure. Patients who undergo LVRS and remain in need of LTx should be carefully assessed and followed postoperatively.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Propensity Score*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology