Objectives: Severe reperfusion injury after lung transplantation has mortality rates approaching 40%. The purpose of this investigation was to identify whether our improved 1-year survival after lung transplantation is related to a change in reperfusion injury. Methods: We reported in March 2000 that early institution of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can improve lung transplantation survival. The records of consecutive lung transplant recipients from 1990 to March 2000 (early era, n = 136) were compared with those of recipients from March 2000 to August 2006 (current era, n = 155). Reperfusion injury was defined by an oxygenation index of greater than 7 (where oxygenation index = [Percentage inspired oxygen] × [Mean airway pressure]/[Partial pressure of oxygen]). Risk factors for reperfusion injury, treatment of reperfusion injury, and 30-day mortality were compared between eras by using χ2, Fisher's, or Student's t tests where appropriate. Results: Although the incidence of reperfusion injury did not change between the eras, 30-day mortality after lung transplantation improved from 11.8% in the early era to 3.9% in the current era (P = .003). In patients without reperfusion injury, mortality was low in both eras. Patients with reperfusion injury had less severe reperfusion injury (P = .01) and less mortality in the current era (11.4% vs 38.2%, P = .01). Primary pulmonary hypertension was more common in the early era (10% [14/136] vs 3.2% [5/155], P = .02). Graft ischemic time increased from 223.3 ± 78.5 to 286.32 ± 88.3 minutes in the current era (P = .0001). The mortality of patients with reperfusion injury requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation improved in the current era (80.0% [8/10] vs 25.0% [3/12], P = .01). Conclusion: Improved early survival after lung transplantation is due to less severe reperfusion injury, as well as improvements in survival with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine