The purpose of this study was to compare spirometry data between patients who underwent single-lung or double-lung transplantation the first year after transplantation.
Lung transplantation, which was initially described as an experimental method in 1963, has become a therapeutic option for patients with advanced pulmonary diseases due to improvements in organ conservation, surgical technique, immunosuppressive therapy and treatment of post-operative infections.
We retrospectively reviewed the records of the 39 patients who received lung transplantation in our institution between August 2003 and August 2006. Twenty-nine patients survived one year post-transplantation, and all of them were followed.
The increase in lung function in the double-lung transplant group was more substantial than that of the single-lung transplant group, exhibiting a statistical difference from the 1st month in both the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the forced vital capacity (FVC) in comparison to the pre-transplant values (p <0.05).
Comparison between double-lung transplant and single lung-transplant groups of emphysema patients demonstrated a significant difference in lung function beginning in the 3rd month after transplantation.
The analyses of the whole group of transplant recipients and the sub-group of emphysema patients suggest the superiority of bilateral transplant over the unilateral alternative. Although the pre-transplant values of lung function were worse in the double-lung group, this difference was no longer significant in the subsequent months after surgery.
Although both groups demonstrated functional improvement after transplantation, there was a clear tendency to greater improvement in FVC and FEV1 in the bilateral transplant group. Among our subjects, double-lung transplantation improved lung function.