Objective: To describe the current practice and outcomes of intrathoracic transplantation in the United Kingdom.
Design: Prospective observational cohort study.
Setting: Multicentre study involving all nine UK intrathoracic transplant units.
Patients: 2588 patients added to the national waiting list between April 1995 and March 1999 and 1737 patients who underwent heart, lung, or heart-lung transplantation in the same period.
Main outcome measures: Waiting list mortality and post-transplant graft survival.
Results: There was a slight fall in transplant activity over the four years. Within six months of listing, 52.5% of patients on the heart transplant list had been transplanted and 11.0% had died, compared with 31.3% and 15.2% for lung, and 23.4% and 20.4% for heart-lung. The median time to transplant in days (95% confidence interval) was 133 (115 to 149) for heart, 386 (328 to 496) for lung, and 471 (377 to 577) for heart-lung. After three years, the waiting list mortality was 16.9% (6.1% to 46.8%) for heart, 33.1% (9.0% to 100%) for lung, and 36.5% (10.5% to 100%) for heart-lung. The three year graft survival after transplantation was 74.2% (71.2% to 77.0%) for heart, 53.8% (48.2% to 59.2%) for lung, and 57.2% (49.0% to 64.6%) for heart-lung.
Conclusions: This validated database defines the current state of thoracic transplantation in the United Kingdom and is a useful source of data for workers involved in the field. Thoracic transplantation is still limited by donor scarcity and high mortality. Overoptimistic reports may reflect publication bias and are not supported by data from this national cohort.
- heart transplantation
- lung transplantation
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