Outcomes of lung transplantation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Tuberk Toraks. 2023 Sep;71(3):215-223. doi: 10.5578/tt.20239703.


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive airway disease that can progress to the terminal stage requiring oxygen supply. In this period, lung volume reduction therapies and/or lung transplantation may be considered. Morbidity and mortality risks due to transplant surgery and posttransplant immunosuppressive therapy show the importance of selecting the best candidates who will benefit from transplantation. In this context, BODE index criteria serve as important markers. This study aimed to analyze the outcomes of lung transplantation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to identify variables that may affect post-transplant clinical outcomes.

Materials and methods: Lung transplants diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease performed in our center between March 2013 and January 2023 were included in the study. Demographic information and both pre-op and post-op clinical data of the transplant patients were collected. The effect of BODE index criteria and other pre-transplant clinical data on short- and long-term outcomes after transplantation were investigated.

Results: During the study period, 34 lung transplants were performed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. One patient died during the operation, three patients received single transplants, and 30 received double transplants. Post-operative primary graft dysfunction was more common in single transplant recipients. The results were comparable between single and double transplants in terms of post-transplant pulmonary function and the development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction. BODE index criteria had no effect on early and late post-operative clinical data, however intra-operative use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, primary graft dysfunction, and prolonged extubation were significantly higher in recipients younger than 60 years.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that prelisting demographic and clinical data of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients had no significant effect on post-operative outcomes, however, intra-operative ECMO use, prolonged extubation, primary graft dysfunction (p< 0.05 for each) and chronic rejection (p> 0.05) were more common in patients who are <60 years of age. These data need to be confirmed by larger studies.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Postoperative Period
  • Primary Graft Dysfunction*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / surgery