Optimal timing of lung transplantation in end-stage lung disease

Sean M. Studer, Jonathan B. Orens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung transplantation potentially offers improved survival and quality of life for patients with end-stage lung diseases such as emphysema, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, primary pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis. A major factor in determining the overall success of this procedure is the appropriate timing of both the referral and, ultimately, the transplant procedure. Priority for allocation of donor organs for lung transplantation in the United States is based on the total amount of time accrued on the transplant waiting list. Because of a severe shortage of donor organs, waiting periods currently average greater than 1.5 years. Unlike other solid organ allocation systems, priority is not offered on the basis of the severity of illness. Therefore, patients referred too late in the course of their disease may not survive the waiting period for transplantation. However, early transplantation prematurely exposes patients to the inherent risks of this procedure. An international consensus group recently published general and disease-specific guidelines for the selection of lung transplant candidates, which better define candidate selection and the timing for this procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Lung transplantation
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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