There have been few studies on the quality of life among patients awaiting lung transplantation (LT). Patients with end stage lung disease can be divided into those with either airflow obstruction (emphysema and cystic fibrosis) or restrictive physiology (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis). We assessed the quality of life of LT candidates with respect to obstuctive physiology (O) versus restrictive physiology (R).
Of 108 patients listed for LT between January of 2000 and August of 2004, 64 consented and completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36). Demographics and other clinical characteristics obtained during evaluation for LT were analyzed and compared with the results of SF-36.
There were 18 patients in group R and 46 in Group O. Group O included an equal number of cystic fibrosis and emphysema patients. Group O was significantly younger. Younger patients reported less dyspnea with exercise and longer six minute walk distances. Comparisons of the two groups are shown in table 1. There was a trend towards lower scores among group O in the social function (p=0.09) and bodily pain (p=0.06) domains. The O group also had a trend towards increase physical function (p=0.07) However, there was a significantly worse general health score in the O group (p=0.003).
Group O patients reported significantly worse general health than group R, despite being younger and having a trend towards more physical function and less bodily pain.
The physiologic basis for impairment O vs R and age should be taken into consideration when interpreting SF-36 quality of life in patients listed for LT.
TABLE 1ObstructiveRestrictivep ValueAge (years)42 ± 1856 ± 10<0.01BMI (kg/m2)21.4 ± 4.326.8± 2.5<0.01Borg scale dyspnea with exercise5.2± 2.35.8 ± 2.50.93Exercise O2 sat87 ± 879 ± 10<0.016-min walk distance (ft)1143 ± 4211196 ± 2840.11
Leonardo Seoane, None.