Donor history of asthma is not a contraindication to lung transplantation: 12-Year single-center experience

Takahiro Oto, Anne Griffiths, Bronwyn Levvey, Helen Whitford, Thomas C. Kotsimbos, Marc Rabinov, Donald S. Esmore, Trevor J. Williams, Gregory I. Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background Donor asthma has been regarded as a contraindication to lung transplantation (LTx) because of concerns that pre-existing airway inflammation will predispose to early and late graft dysfunction. The aim of this study was to describe LTx outcomes in which lungs had been transplanted from donors with a history of asthma. Methods A retrospective chart review was undertaken of 743 consecutive donor lung referrals to the Alfred Hospital between 1990 and September 2002. Seventy-four were noted to have a history of asthma, including 18 in whom asthma was the cause of death. Twenty-seven patients became lung donors, of whom 16 were on asthma treatment (on-treatment group) and 11 were not (no-treatment group). Results From 27 lung donors, 35 LTx procedures were performed (16 double LTx [DLTx], 19 single LTx [SLTx]). Five recipients died at <30 days (including 3 of early graft failure in the no-treatment group), and 7 died at >30 days (only 1 due to BOS). The 30-day, 1-year and 5-year survival rates in the on- and no-treatment donor groups were 90% vs 76%, 74% vs 69% and 74% vs 60%, respectively, and were not significantly different from our overall LTx survival rates. There were no significant differences in percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second, ICU stay or hospital stay overall, or when analyzed according to on treatment vs no treatment and SLTx vs DLTx. Only 2 procedures LTx were performed from fatal asthma donors, both of whom had subsequent graft dysfunction and died on Days 73 and 484, respectively. Conclusions The use of lungs from carefully selected lung donors with a history of asthma may increase the donor pool with acceptable long-term outcomes. The use of fatal asthma donors remains problematic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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