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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 9, Issue 6, Pages 413-416
Original Article

Canadian Respirologists’ Experience with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Stacey M Pollock-BarZiv,1,2 Marsha M Cohen,2,3 Heather Maclean,2 and Gregory P Downey4,5

1The Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto, Canada
2The Centre for Research in Women’s Health, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Health Sciences Centre,, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
3Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada
4Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
5Division of Respirology, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare pulmonary disease occurring primarily in women. A literature review of LAM in Canada found sporadic mention of LAM in case reports or within lung transplant studies. The LAM Foundation, a patient support and research funding organization, lists 23 Canadian patients in its database. The present study was designed to assess the scope of LAM across Canada and to identify potential patients for further evaluation. OBJECTIVES: To ascertain Canadian respirologists’ experience with patients with LAM (current and historical), lung transplantation (single or bilateral) and deaths due to LAM, and awareness of the LAM Foundation.

METHODS: Four hundred twelve brief surveys were sent anonymously to members of the Canadian Lung Association (inserted in their newsletters) to ascertain the experience of Canadian respirologists with LAM.

RESULTS: One hundred twelve surveys were returned (27%). Fifty-one respondents had 'ever' been involved in the care of at least one patient with LAM; eight had cared for three or more patients. At the time of the study, 26 respondents were following a total of 46 patients with LAM; 22 of the 51 respirologists (43%) who had ever cared for a patient with LAM reported the death of a patient. Thirty-three patients had been put on wait lists for transplantation; six died while on the wait list. Nineteen patients underwent lung transplantation - six single-lung recipients and 13 bilateral lung recipients. Of the 51 respirologists who had ever cared for a patient with LAM, only 30 (61%) were aware of the LAM Foundation’s services. Of the 112 respondents, only 47 (43%) were aware of the LAM Foundation.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identified a moderate level of awareness of a significant existing patient support and research service (the LAM Foundation). There were many patients with LAM who were unknown to the LAM Foundation and could benefit from its resources. Results suggest that there may be more patients with LAM in Canada than are reported in the existing literature.