BACKGROUND: Lung disease is the leading cause of morbidity and death in scleroderma patients, but scleroderma is often considered a contraindication to lung transplantation because of concerns for worse outcomes. We evaluated whether 5-year survival in scleroderma patients after lung transplantation differed from other patients with restrictive lung disease.
METHODS: This was a single-center, retrospective cohort study of all patients undergoing bilateral lung transplantation for scleroderma-related pulmonary disease between January 2006 and December 2014. This cohort was compared with patients undergoing bilateral lung transplantation for nonscleroderma group D restrictive disease. Primary outcomes reported were 1-year and 5-year survival. Diagnoses were identified by United Network of Organ Sharing listing and were confirmed by clinical examination and prelisting workup.
RESULTS: We compared 26 patients who underwent BLT for scleroderma and 155 patients who underwent BLT for group D restrictive disease. Overall, the nonscleroderma cohort was younger, with lower lung allocation score but no difference in functional status. Donor characteristics were not different between the cohorts. Survival at 1 year was not different (73.1% vs 80.0%, p = 0.323). Long-term survival at 5 years was also not significantly different (65.4% vs 66.5%, p = 0.608). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis found no differences in survival between scleroderma and nonscleroderma group D restrictive disease (hazard ratio, 2.19; p = 0.122).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite being at high risk for extrapulmonary complications, patients undergoing bilateral lung transplantation for scleroderma have similar 1-year and 5-year survival as those with restrictive lung disease. Transplantation is a reasonable treatment option for a carefully selected population of candidates.
- Journal Article