versity School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis since the program began in 1988. The study included 247 patients, who were followed through 2002. Most were Caucasian, reflecting the CF population as a whole, and the average age at the time of placement on the waiting list was 28. All the patients had severely impaired lung function and severe symptoms when they were placed on the waiting list.
Of the 247 patients in the study, after one year, 84% of patients were alive while waiting for a transplant, and an equal percentage were alive after having a transplant. After two years, 67% of those waiting for a transplant were alive, compared with 76% who had a transplant. After five years, 55% of transplant patients were alive.
Though transplantation had a significant early death risk compared with continued waiting, the risks significantly decreased over time. Within 15 months, the survival benefit from transplantation became apparent. Based on an average survival of 5.7 years after transplant, the researchers determined that lung transplantation improved the life expectancy of patients with CF by almost 4.5 years.
"Next, we hope to see if transplanted patients are not only living longer, but enjoying a better quality of life than those who remain on the waiting list," Dr. Yusen said.
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Contact: Jim Augustine, Bill Glitz or Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society
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