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The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

A comparison of outcomes after lung transplantation between European and North American centers

      BACKGROUND

      With advancements in basic science and clinical medicine, lung transplantation (LT) has evolved rapidly over the last three decades. However, it is unclear if significant regional variations exist in long-term outcomes after LT.

      METHODS

      To investigate potential differences, we performed a retrospective, comparative cohort analysis of adult patients undergoing deceased donor single or double LT in North America (NA) or Europe between January 2006 and December 2016. Data up to April 2019 were abstracted from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Thoracic Organ Registry. We compared overall survival (OS) between North American and European LT centers in a propensity score matched analysis.

      RESULTS

      In 3,115 well-matched pairs, though 30-day survival was similar between groups (NA 96.2% vs Europe 95.4%, p = 0.116), 5-year survival was significantly higher in European patients (NA 60.1% vs Europe 70.3%, p < 0.001).

      CONCLUSIONS

      This survival difference persisted in a sensitivity analysis excluding Canadian patients. Prior observations suggest that these disparities are at least partly related to better access to care via universal healthcare models prevalent in Europe. Future studies are warranted to confirm our findings and explore other causal mechanisms. It is likely that potential solutions will require concerted efforts from healthcare providers and policymakers.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      LT (lung transplantation), OS (overall survival), NA (North America), ISHLT (International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation), LAS (lung allocation score)
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