Data from the United States Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) registry have been analyzed in recent years to assess post-lung transplant (LT) survival in occupational lung disease patients.1-3 Registry data include diagnosis codes with limited specificity; each patient is assigned a diagnosis code at waitlist candidacy, at listing, and at LT, and these codes can differ. The use of both numeric and free-text data can produce incompatible or unlikely diagnosis code pairings (such as a numeric code for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with a paired free-text entry of "silicosis"[). The resulting misclassification could bias findings related to patient characteristics, post-LT survival comparisons and other measures used to summarize outcomes. Diagnosis codes from OPTN data could be inadequate for case finding and may result in missed occupational lung disease cases. Our objective was to identify and describe adult LT recipients documented as having conditions known to be entirely attributable to occupational exposure, and to calculate the proportion of those patients who were assigned an occupational lung disease diagnosis code at LT.
David J. Blackley, Dr PH, Respiratory Health Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1095 Willowdale Road, Mail Stop HG900.2, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888
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