The aim of this study is to review the long-term outcomes of bilateral lung transplantation (BLTx) in our institution and examine the potential issues that may influence outcomes in a low-volume center.
A retrospective review of BLTx performed in our institution between July 2006 and December 2012 was conducted. Standardized donor selection, procurement, and preservation protocols for brain-dead donors were applied. Measured outcomes were in-hospital mortality and actuarial survival using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Twenty-five consecutive patients (13 male, 12 female) underwent BLTx with a mean age of 41.8 ± 13.5 years. Before LTx, the mean body mass index was 18.3 ± 3.1 kg/m2. Seven of these patients (28%) required oxygen supplementation at rest before LTx, while the remaining patients (72%) required noninvasive mechanical ventilation (n = 6, 24%), invasive mechanical ventilation (n = 9, 36%) or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (n = 3, 12%). The lung grafts were procured from brain-dead donors with the mean age of 26.8 ± 11.4 year and the best PaO2 / FiO2 ratio of 513 ± 77 before procurement. All cross match results between same-race donors and recipients were negative. The percentage of same-sex matching and CMV mismatching were 64% and 4%, respectively. The mean time listed on the transplant list was 308 ± 261 days. The mean ischemic time for the first and second grafts were 222 ± 62 and 361 ± 67 minutes. During transplantation, 22 (88%) patients depended on ECMO and one (4%) on cardiopulmonary bypass support. All but two patients (82%) were discharged home in good condition; two (8%) patients died within 3 months after BLTx. The cumulative survival rates at 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-years were 88%, 83%, 72%, and 72%, respectively.
Although the comparatively few annual LTx performed is consistent with the low donation rate, our single-center growing experience demonstrates that good post-lung transplant outcomes can be achieved at a low-volume LTx center.