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Lung transplantation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: patient selection and special considerations

Authors Lane CR, Tonelli A

Received 11 July 2015

Accepted for publication 14 September 2015

Published 12 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2137—2146

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S78677

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Hsiao-Chi Chuang

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


C Randall Lane, Adriano R Tonelli

Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA


Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity. Lung transplantation is one of the few treatments available for end-stage COPD with the potential to improve survival and quality of life. The selection of candidates and timing of listing present challenges, as COPD tends to progress fairly slowly, and survival after lung transplantation remains limited. Though the natural course of COPD is difficult to predict, the use of assessments of functional status and multivariable indices such as the BODE index can help identify which patients with COPD are at increased risk for mortality, and hence which are more likely to benefit from lung transplantation. Patients with COPD can undergo either single or bilateral lung transplantation. Although many studies suggest better long-term survival with bilateral lung transplant, especially in younger patients, this continues to be debated, and definitive recommendations about this cannot be made. Patients may be more susceptible to particular complications of transplant for COPD, including native lung hyperinflation, and development of lung cancer.

Keywords: emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, mortality, prognosis, outcomes, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

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