Outcomes of Patients on the Lung Transplantation Waitlist in Korea: A Korean Network for Organ Sharing Data Analysis

Hye Ju Yeo, Dong Kyu Oh, Woo Sik Yu, Sun Mi Choi, Kyeongman Jeon, Mihyang Ha, Jin Gu Lee, Woo Hyun Cho, Young Tae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The demand for lung transplants continues to increase in Korea, and donor shortages and waitlist mortality are critical issues. This study aimed to evaluate the factors that affect waitlist outcomes from the time of registration for lung transplantation in Korea. Methods: Data were obtained from the Korean Network for Organ Sharing for lung-only registrations between September 7, 2009, and December 31, 2020. Post-registration outcomes were evaluated according to the lung disease category, blood group, and age. Results: Among the 1,671 registered patients, 49.1% had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (group C), 37.0% had acute respiratory distress syndrome and other interstitial lung diseases (group D), 7.2% had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (group A), and 6.6% had primary pulmonary hypertension (group B). Approximately half of the patients (46.1%) were transplanted within 1 year of registration, while 31.8% died without receiving a lung transplant within 1 year of registration. Data from 1,611 patients were used to analyze 1-year post-registration outcomes, which were classified as transplanted (46.1%, n = 743), still awaiting (21.1%, n = 340), removed (0.9%, n = 15), and death on waitlist (31.8%, n = 513). No significant difference was found in the transplantation rate according to the year of registration. However, significant differences occurred between the waitlist mortality rates (P = 0.008) and the still awaiting rates (P = 0.009). The chance of transplantation after listing varies depending on the disease category, blood type, age, and urgency status. Waitlist mortality within 1 year was significantly associated with non-group A disease (hazard ratio [HR], 2.76, P < 0.001), age ≥ 65 years (HR, 1.48, P < 0.001), and status 0 at registration (HR, 2.10, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Waitlist mortality is still higher in Korea than in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere294
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Allocation
  • Korea
  • Lung transplant
  • Mortality
  • Waitlist


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