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

Lung transplant waitlist outcomes among ABO blood groups vary based on disease severity

Published:November 06, 2022DOI:


      Blood group O candidates have lower lung transplantation rates despite having the most common blood group. We postulated that waitlist outcomes among these candidates and those with other blood types vary with disease severity and lung allocation score (LAS).


      We performed a retrospective cohort study of 32,772 waitlist candidates using the United Network of Organ Sharing registry from May 2005 to 2020. After identifying an interaction between blood group and LAS, we evaluated the association between blood group and waitlist outcomes within LAS quartiles using unadjusted and adjusted competing risk models.


      In the lowest LAS quartile, blood group O had a 20% reduced transplantation rate (SHR: 0.80, 95%CI: 0.75-0.85) and higher waitlist death/removal (1.33, 95%CI: 1.15-1.55) compared with group A. Blood group AB had a 52% higher transplantation rate (SHR: 1.52, 95%CI: 1.34-1.73) in the lowest LAS quartile compared with group A. In the highest LAS quartile, there was no difference in transplantation rates between groups O and A. In contrast, group B had a 19% reduced transplantation rate (SHR, 0.81 95%CI: 0.73-0.89) and AB had a 28% reduced transplantation rate (SHR: 0.72, 95%CI: 0.61-0.86) in the highest LAS quartile. Additionally, groups B and AB had increased risk of waitlist death/removal in the highest LAS quartile compared with A (SHR: 1.27, 95%CI: 1.08-1.48; SHR: 1.31, 95%CI: 1.00-1.72).


      Waitlist outcomes among ABO blood groups vary depending on illness severity, which is represented by LAS. Blood group O has lower transplantation rates at low LAS while groups B and AB have lower transplantation rates at high LAS.



      UNOS (United Network of Organ Sharing), LAS (lung allocation score), ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), DAS (donation service area), OPTN (organ procurement and transplantation network), SHR (subhazard ratio), CAS (composite allocation score)
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