Lung transplantation in the United States, 1998-2007

K. R. McCurry, T. H. Shearon, L. B. Edwards, K. M. Chan, S. C. Sweet, M. Valapour, R. Yusen, S. Murray

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This article highlights trends and changes in lung and heart-lung transplantation in the United States from 1998 to 2007. The most significant change over the last decade was implementation of the Lung Allocation Score (LAS) allocation system in May 2005. Subsequently, the number of active wait-listed lung candidates declined 54% from pre-LAS (2004) levels to the end of 2007; there was also a reduction in median waiting time, from 792 days in 2004 to 141 days in 2007. The number of lung transplants performed yearly increased through the decade to a peak of 1 465 in 2007; the greatest single year increase occurred in 2005. Despite candidates with increasingly higher LAS scores being transplanted in the LAS era, recipient death rates have remained relatively stable since 2003 and better than in previous years. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis became the most common diagnosis group to receive a lung transplant in 2007 while emphysema was the most common diagnosis in previous years. The number of retransplants and transplants in those aged ≥65 performed yearly have increased significantly since 1998, up 295% and 643%, respectively. A decreasing percentage of lung transplant recipients are children (3.5% in 2007, n = 51). With LAS refinement ongoing, monitoring of future impact is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-958
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number4 PART 2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Deceased donors
  • Donation after cardiac death (DCD)
  • Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (iPAH)
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
  • Living donors
  • Lung allocation score (LAS)
  • Organ donation
  • Organ procurement and transplantation network (OPTN)


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