Lung Transplant Selection & Referral Criteria

Specific lung transplant criteria are used to determine admission into Tampa General Hospital’s Lung Transplant Program. Each potential candidate must be referred to the program by a physician, who is required to complete a lung transplant referral form.

Our team of health care professionals then completes an initial review to decide if the individual should have a more in-depth evaluation. Any data gleaned from this evaluation, as well as information from the referral form, is used by the Tampa General Lung Transplant Program Medical Review Board (MRB) to determine whether the individual should be admitted to the program and added to the lung transplant waiting list.

Candidates considered for lung transplant evaluation must meet certain lung transplant guidelines, such as being younger than 70 and having a life expectancy of less than two years. They should also meet other lung transplant criteria, such as being within 20 percent of their ideal body weight, being free of significant infection or systemic disease, not having a history of alcohol or drug abuse, abstaining from smoking for at least six months, and being cancer free for at least five years. Candidates will also be evaluated for their rehabilitation potential after surgery.

These are general guidelines for all lung transplants. Because a transplant can be used to treat a number of conditions – including COPD, cystic fibrosis, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), pulmonary fibrosis (UIP/ NSIP), primary pulmonary hypertension, and sarcoidosis – there is a different set of lung transplant referral criteria specific to each disease.

There are several absolute contraindications that can preclude a patient from being considered for a lung transplant, such as:

  • HIV infection
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Liver cirrhosis or an active hepatitis B infection
  • Presence of a malignant cancer within the past two to five years
  • Bone density T-score lower than 3.0

Our lung transplant criteria also include several relative contraindications that may disqualify a patient for the lung transplant evaluation, depending on the particular patient and his or her degree of illness. Such relative contraindications include:

  • Inability to comply with a complex medication regimen
  • History of medical noncompliance
  • Presence of pan-resistant organisms
  • Invasive mechanical ventilation
  • Severe musculoskeletal disease affecting the thorax
  • Symptomatic osteoporosis

To learn more about Tampa General Hospital’s lung transplant qualification, selection and referral criteria, please call 1-800-505-7769 (press 3 for the lung transplant program, and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the referral coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088. Click here to fill out the lung transplant referral form. Tampa General Hospital's Transplant Institute has performed more than 10,000 organ transplants since the inception of our program, and we're ranked #5 in the nation by volume, offering shorter wait times and world-class outcomes for our patients.