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Am J Transplant. 2008 Apr;8(4 Pt 2):977-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02175.x.

Heart and lung transplantation in the United States, 1997-2006.

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University of Washington, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Seattle, WA, USA.


This article highlights trends in heart and lung transplantation between 1997 and 2006, drawing on data from the OPTN and SRTR. The total number of candidates actively awaiting heart transplantation declined by 45% over the last decade, dropping from 2414 patients in 1997 to 1327 patients in 2006. The overall death rates among patients awaiting heart transplantation declined over the same period. The distribution of recipients among the different status groups at the time of heart transplantation changed little between the inception of the new classification system in 1999 and 2005. Deaths in the first year after heart transplantation have steadily decreased. At the end of 2006, 2885 candidates were awaiting a lung transplant, up 10% from the 1997 count. The median time-to-transplant for listed patients decreased by 87% over the decade, dropping from 1053 days in 1997 to 132 days in 2006. Selection for listing and transplantation has shifted toward more urgent patients since the May 2005 implementation of a new lung allocation system based on survival benefit and urgency rather than waiting time. Only 31 heart-lung transplants were performed in 2006, down from a high of 62 in 1997.

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