Increasing Lung Allocation Scores Predict Worsened Survival Among Lung Transplant Recipients


* Corresponding author: Vincent Liu,


Implemented in 2005, the lung allocation score (LAS) aims to distribute donor organs based on overall survival benefits for all potential recipients, rather than on waiting list time accrued. While prior work has shown that patients with scores greater than 46 are at increased risk of death, it is not known whether that risk is equivalent among such patients when stratified by LAS score and diagnosis. We retrospectively evaluated 5331 adult lung transplant recipients from May 2005 to February 2009 to determine the association of LAS (groups based on scores of ≤46, 47–59, 60–79 and ≥80) and posttransplant survival. When compared with patients with LAS ≤ 46, only those with LAS ≥ 60 had an increased risk of death (LAS 60–79: hazard ratio [HR], 1.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21–1.90; LAS ≥ 80: HR, 2.03; CI, 1.61–2.55; p < 0.001) despite shorter median waiting list times. This risk persisted after adjusting for age, diagnosis, transplant center volume and donor characteristics. By specific diagnosis, an increased hazard was observed in patients with COPD with LAS ≥ 80, as well as those with IPF with LAS ≥ 60.