Examining Mortality and Rejection in Combined Heart-Lung Transplantations

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There is a paucity of data on outcomes related to combined heart-lung transplantations (HLTs). Our objective was to identify variables associated with mortality and rejection in HLT.


The United Network for Organ Sharing database was reviewed for HLT performed between 1993 and 2008. Long-term survivors (survival > 5 years) were compared with short-term survivors (survival < 5 years). Factors associated with rejection were examined. Risk-adjusted multivariable Cox's proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to examine variables associated with mortality and rejection.


Multivariable analysis revealed that recipient male gender was associated with mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11-2.54, p = 0.01) and 5 years (HR: 1.41, 95% CI: 1.05-1.89, p = 0.02). Preoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was associated with mortality at 1 year (HR: 7.55, 95% CI: 2.55-22.30, p < 0.01) and 5 years (HR: 3.14, 95% CI: 1.19-8.32, p = 0.02). Preoperative mechanical ventilation (MV) was associated with mortality at 1 year (HR: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.77-6.98, p < 0.01) and at 5 years (HR: 2.70, 95% CI: 1.51-4.85, p < 0.01). Multivariable analysis showed that male gender (HR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.03-3.09, p = 0.04) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) positivity in the recipient and donor (HR: 3.09, 95% CI: 1.59-6.01, p < 0.01) were associated with rejection. Clinical infection in the donor (HR: 2.05, 95% CI: 1.16-3.61, p = 0.01) was also associated with rejection.


Survival was affected by recipient male sex and need for preoperative ECMO or MV. Risk factors for rejection included male sex, CMV positivity in the donor and recipient, and donor with clinical infection.

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