Seventy-two pulmonary retransplantations for obliterative bronchiolitis: Predictors of survival

Richard J. Novick, Hans Joachim Schäfers, Larry Stitt, Bernard Andréassian, Walter Klepetko, Robert L. Hardesty, Adaani Frost, G. Alexander Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background.: Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) occurs in up to 40% of patients in the intermediate term after lung transplantation. In recent years an increasing number of recipients with end-stage OB have been treated with retransplantation. Methods.: Seventy-two patients with OB underwent retransplantation at 26 North American and European centers a median of 590 days after their first transplant operation. The predictors of survival were determined using life table and Cox proportional hazards methods, and the recurrence rate of OB was determined in survivors. Results.: The actuarial survival rate was 71% ± 5% at 1 month, 43% ± 6% at 1 year, and 35% ± 6% at 2 years; nonetheless, of the 90-day postoperative survivors, 63% ± 7% were alive 2 years after retransplantation. Institutional experience with more than three pulmonary retransplantations (p = 0.008), reoperation in Europe (p = 0.013), donor-recipient ABO blood group identity (p = 0.018), and more recent year of retransplantation (p = 0.03) were associated with survival. On multivariate analysis, reoperation after 1989 (p < 0.001), retransplantation performed in Europe (p = 0.017), and being ambulatory immediately before reoperation (p = 0.022) were found to be predictive of a positive outcome. Pulmonary function test analyses confirmed that the forced expiratory volume in 1 second decreased from postoperative baseline values by 11% ± 9% at 1 year and 27% ± 10% at 2 years (p = 0.02; year 2 versus baseline). Fourteen percent of patients were in stage 3 of the bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome at 1 year postoperatively, with 33% affected at 2 years. Conclusions.: The results of pulmonary retransplantation for OB are improving. Current evidence indicates that OB does not recur in an accelerated manner after retransplantation, although pulmonary function does worsen again by 2 years. Pulmonary retransplantation is appropriate only in selected patients with OB who are ambulatory and are operated on at experienced centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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