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Single-center experience in urgent lung transplantation program in a country with a shortage of donors: Does the end justify the means?

Single-center experience in urgent lung transplantation program in a country with a shortage of donors: Does the end justify the means?

Schiavon M, Faggi G, Di Gregorio G, Calabrese F, Lunardi F, Marulli G, Feltracco P, Loy M, Damin M, Cozzi E, Gregori D, Calabrese F, Rea F

Single-center experience in urgent lung transplantation program in a country with a shortage of donors: Does the end justify the means?

Clin Transplant. 2017 Dec;31(12). doi: 10.1111/ctr.13129. Epub 2017 Nov 28

In rapidly deteriorating patients awaiting lung transplantation (LT), supportive strategies are only temporary and urgent lung transplant (ULT) remains the last option. The few publications on this topic report conflicting results. According to the Italian national program, patients on mechanical ventilation and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be included in urgent list. We reviewed our experience from January 2012 to December 2014 with ULT and elective lung transplantation (ELT), focusing on outcomes. In the study period, 16 patients received ULT, while 51 received ELT. Among ULT, 1 patient (5.8%) died in waiting list (WL) while 16 patients underwent LT with a median WL time of 6 days. ELT WL mortality was 13.5%, and median WL time 368 days. In-hospital mortality was lower in ELT group (5.8% vs 37.5%, P < .01), while the other postoperative outcomes were not significantly different. For ULT patients, the highest impact risk factors for in-hospital mortality were pretransplant plasma transfusion, recipient Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization, and high level of reactive C-protein and lactic acid. A ULT program with an accurate recipient selection allows earlier transplantation, reducing WL mortality, with acceptable outcomes, although with a higher in-hospital mortality. Larger studies are needed to validate our results.

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