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This article is the author's final published version in the Journal of Thoracic Disease, Volume 15, Issue 7, July 2023, Pg. 3627 - 3635.

The published version is available at Copyright © Journal of Thoracic Disease. All rights reserved.


Background: Lung volume reduction (LVR) and lung transplantation (LTx) have been used in different populations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. To date, comparative study of LVR and LTx has not been performed. We sought to address this gap by pooling the existing evidence in the literature.

Methods: An electronic search was performed to identify all prospective studies on LVR and LTx published since 2000. Baseline characteristics, perioperative variables, and clinical outcomes were extracted and pooled for meta-analysis.

Results: The analysis included 65 prospective studies comprising 3,671 patients [LTx: 15 studies (n=1,445), LVR: 50 studies (n=2,226)]. Mean age was 60 [95% confidence interval (CI): 58–62] years and comparable between the two groups. Females were 51% (95% CI: 30–71%) in the LTx group vs. 28% (95% CI: 21–36%) in LVR group (P=0.05). Baseline 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and pulmonary function tests were comparable except for the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), which was lower in the LTx group [21.8% (95% CI: 16.8–26.7%) vs. 27.3% (95% CI: 25.5–29.2%), P=0.04]. Postoperatively, both groups experienced improved FEV1, however post-LTx FEV1 was significantly higher than post-LVR FEV1 [54.9% (95% CI: 41.4–68.4%) vs. 32.5% (95% CI: 30.1–34.8%), P<0.01]. 6MWT was also improved after both procedures [LTx: 212.9 (95% CI: 119.0–306.9) to 454.4 m (95% CI: 334.7–574.2), P<0.01; LVR: 286 (95% CI: 270.2–301.9) to 409.1 m (95% CI: 392.1–426.0), P<0.01], however, with no significant difference between the groups. Pooled survival over time showed no significant difference between the groups.

Conclusions: LTx results in better FEV1 but otherwise has comparable outcomes to LVR.

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