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Lung Transplant
What's New The OPTN/UNOS Lung Allocation Score (LAS) System

The OPTN/UNOS Lung Allocation Score (LAS) System

In 2005, the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and its non-profit funding agency, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), changed the nation's method of allocating organs to transplant candidates. The new method, involving a scoring system to help determine position on the organ waiting list, replaced an older system allocating organs on a first-come first-serve basis.

Under the new lung allocation system, every lung transplant candidate age 12 and older receives an individualized lung allocation score. The lung allocation score reflects both the seriousness of each candidate's medical status before transplant and the likelihood of a successful transplant. It is an important factor in determining priority for receiving a lung transplant when a donor lung becomes available. The system will determines the order of everyone awaiting a lung transplant by their lung allocation scores, blood type, and the geographic distance between the candidates and the hospital where the lung donor is located. Age also plays a role because lungs from pediatric and adolescent donors are now offered first to pediatric and adolescent candidates before they are offered to adults.

The score utilizes a complex clinical calculator derived from clinical predictors of survival that is reported on a scale of 0 to 100 (0 is least ill and 100 is the most ill). In the first year the new system was in place, over half of lung transplants were performed in patients with scores less that or equal to 40. Additional information on transplants performed each year is available through the published reports at the Organ Procurement and Transplantation (OPTN) website,

Click here to read more about the LAS and the clinical indicators used to determine a patient's individual LAS score

Additional questions regarding the LAS score and your status on the wait list should be directed to your transplant pulmonologist or coordinator.

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