Thoracic Organ Transplantation in the United States, 1995–2004

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This article reviews trends in thoracic organ transplantation based on OPTN/SRTR data from 1995 to 2004. The number of active waiting list patients for heart transplants continues to decline, primarily because there are fewer patients with coronary artery disease listed for transplantation. Waiting times for heart transplantation have decreased, and waiting list deaths also have declined, from 259 per 1000 patient-years at risk in 1995 to 156 in 2004. Fewer heart transplants were performed in 2004 than in 1995, but adjusted patient survival increased to 88% at 1 year and 73% at 5 years. Emphysema, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis were the most common indications among lung transplant recipients in 2004. Waiting time for lung transplantation decreased between 1999 and 2004. Waiting list mortality decreased to 134 per 1000 patient-years at risk in 2004. One-year survival following transplantation has improved significantly in the past decade. The number of combined heart-lung transplants performed in the United States remains low, with only 39 performed in 2004. Overall unadjusted survival, at 58% at 1 year and 40% at 5 years, is lower among heart-lung recipients than among either heart or lung recipients alone.

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