The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
Original Translational Science| Volume 41, ISSUE 7, P866-873, July 2022

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Impact of incorporating long-term survival for calculating transplant benefit in the US lung transplant allocation system

Published:February 25, 2022DOI:


      The lung allocation score prioritizes candidates for a lung transplant in the United States. As the country adopts the continuous distribution framework for organ allocation, we must reevaluate lung allocation score assumptions to maximize transplant benefit.


      We used Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data to study the impact of these changes: (1) updating cohorts; (2) transitioning from 1- to 5-year posttransplant survival; (3) using time-varying effects for non-proportional hazards; and (4) weighting waitlist and posttransplant area under the curve differently. Models were compared using Spearman correlations and C-statistics. The thoracic simulation allocation model characterized transplant rates and proportions of recipient subgroups under the current and new systems.


      Posttransplant areas under the curve models were estimated with recipients aged ≥12 from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2018. All models had similar C-statistics and Spearman correlations, indicating similar predictive performance and posttransplant area under the curve rankings. Five-year posttransplant area under the curve across age and diagnosis groups varied more than 1-year groups. Using the thoracic simulation allocation model, 1- and 5-year posttransplant model under the curve models showed similar transplant rates and recipient characteristics under the current system, but under continuous distribution, 5-year posttransplant area under the curve resulted in increased transplant rates with more recipients younger and in diagnosis groups B and C.


      Incorporating equally weighted waitlist and posttransplant models using 5-year posttransplant survival detected the largest variability in survival under the continuous distribution system, which could improve long-term survival in the United States.


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