Lung transplantation is essential for patients suffering with COPD. In order to qualify for a transplant, patients have to undergo an evaluation test called BODE. BODE (body mass index, obstruction, dyspnea and exercise capacity) score is a test used to predict the disease condition of a patient. It is widely used and validated for a potential lung transplant in patients. A study was conducted to determine whether the patients selected as transplant candidates had a better survival rate than the BODE score indicates. The findings of the study are published in the journal CHEST.
Researchers performed a retrospective analysis of survival according to the BODE score for 4,000 COPD patients in the United Network Organ Sharing database of lung transplant candidates. They compared survival against that observed in the cohort of COPD patients in which the BODE score was originally validated.
They found that in models controlling for BODE score and incorporating lung transplantation as a competing end point, the risk of death was higher in the BODE validation cohort. This shows that patients selected as candidates for lung transplantation survive considerably longer than predicted by the commonly used prognostic estimates extrapolated from the BODE validation cohort. In addition, results indicated that nonrespiratory cause of death was higher in the nontransplant cohort, which supports the idea that comorbid illnesses that are screened out by the transplant selection process contribute a significant amount of morbidity.