Effect of Donor Age on Outcome of Lung Transplantation Stratified by Recipient Diagnosis: A Nordic Multicenter Study

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BACKGROUND: Organs from older donors are increasingly used in lung transplantation, and studies have demonstrated that this could be safe in selected recipients. However, which recipient groups that have the largest benefit of older organs are unclear. This multicenter study reviews all bilateral lung transplantations (BLTx) from donors 55 years or older stratified by recipient diagnosis and compares outcomes with transplantations from younger donors. METHODS: All BLTx recipients (excluding retransplantation) at 5 Scandiatransplant centers between 2000 and 2013 were included (n = 913). Recipients were stratified to diagnosis groups including cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease (ILD), and "other." Intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS) and survival were assessed. RESULTS: Overall, there was no difference in survival among patients transplanted from donors 55 years or older compared with younger donors. However, in CF recipients, donor age 55 years or older was associated with inferior survival (P = 0.014), and this remained significant in a multivariate model (hazard ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-14.1; P = 0.002). There was no significant effect of donor age on survival in recipients with COPD, ILD, or in the "other" group in multivariate models. Utilization of older donors was associated with increased ICU LOS for recipients with CF and ILD, but not in the COPD or "other" group. CONCLUSIONS: The BLTx recipients with CF had inferior survival and longer ICU LOS when receiving organs from donors 55 years or older. Recipients with COPD, ILD, or in the "other" group did not have inferior survival in multivariate models.


  • Henrik Auråen
  • Michael Thomas Durheim
  • Göran Dellgren
  • Pekka Hämmäinen
  • Hillevi Larsson
  • Odd Geiran
  • Hans Henrik Lawaetz Schultz
  • Inga Leuckfeld
  • Martin Iversen
  • Arnt Fiane
  • Are Martin Holm
External organisations
  • Oslo university hospital
  • University of Oslo
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Helsinki University Central Hospital
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-814
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch