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Elderly Lung Transplant Patients More Likely to Survive

termine their eligibility. Our study shows that lung transplantation can be performed with acceptable outcomes in patients aged 60 and older, if the person is otherwise an appropriate candidate.”

With the exception of recipient-age recommendations, UVA follows the International Guidelines for the Selection of Transplant Candidates in choosing LTX recipients.

Study findings showed that lung transplant recipients age 60 and older have a major survival advantage at UVa compared to patient data compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a national registry that tracks outcomes at U.S. transplantation centers. Five-year survival rates of patients in this age group were 54.7 percent at UVa and 38.6 percent in the UNOS database.

Researchers found that survival rates for UVa’s younger LTX patients also exceeded those reported by UNOS. The five-year survival rate for LTX patients under 60 was 61.0 percent at UVa and 49.8 percent among UNOS registrants.

The researchers attributed UVa’s results to several factors. “Our findings show that the quality of care provided during the very early period following a lung transplant is key to long-term success for elderly recipients. We’ve established a multidisciplinary team to ensure that optimal care is provided during this crucial time,” said Jones.

Another factor, noted Smith, is that UVa “almost exclusively performs SLT rather than BLT for recipients aged 60 and older – and we do so at a significantly higher rate than other transplant centers. We believe that this is the most appropriate procedure for the vast majority of these patients.”

During the study’s timeframe, only one elderly patient at UVa received BLT rather than SLT.

“The issue of which procedure yields the best outcomes for older patients remains unresolved,” Smith said. “Some centers are performing more BLT on older patients and believe that to be the appropriate approach
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