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Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jun;95(6):1912-7; discussion 1917-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.11.079. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Double-lung transplantation can be safely performed using donors with heavy smoking history.

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Department of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Lung transplantation using grafts from donors with a history of heavy smoking (>20 pack-years) is thought to confer worse prognosis. We attempt to determine if adult, double-lung transplantation can be safely performed with lungs from heavy-smoking donors (HSD).


The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database was examined for adult, double-lung transplants from 2005 to 2011.


Of 5,900 double-lung transplants, 766 (13.0%) were from HSDs. The two groups were similar in recipient age (49.8 vs 50.5 years, p = 0.15), male sex (56.9% vs 56.5%, p = 0.87), and lung allocation score (45.8 vs 44.9, p = 0.18). Recipients of lungs from HSDs had lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1; 34.3 vs 36.1% predicted, p = 0.04), longer ischemic time (5.75 vs 5.58 hours, p = 0.01), less human leukocyte antigen mismatch (4.51 vs 4.62, p = 0.01), and lower class I plasma reactive antigens (2.64 vs 3.69%, p = 0.001). HSDs were older (40.9 vs 32.6 years, p < 0.001) and less likely male (51.7 vs 59.7%, p < 0.001). Recipients of lungs from HSDs had longer median length of stay (18.0 vs 17.0 days, p < 0.001). Freedom from bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (p = 0.09), decrement in FEV1 (p = 0.12), peak FEV1 (79.8% vs 79.0%, p = 0.51), and median survival (2,043 vs 1,928 days, p = 0.69) were not different. On multivariate analysis, HSD lungs were not associated with death (hazard ratio, 1.003; 95% confidence interval, 0.867 to 1.161, p = 0.96). Death was associated with donor age, ischemic time, race mismatch, mechanical ventilation, and extracorporeal membranous oxygenation before transplantation.


Double-lung transplantation can be safely performed with lungs from donors with a heavy smoking history.

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