Lung transplantation for pulmonary vascular disease

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Background. Pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is a lethal condition resulting in markedly diminished life expectancy. Continuous prostaglandin I2 infusion has made an important contribution to symptom management, but it is not a panacea. Lung or heart-lung transplantation remains an important treatment option for end-stage PHT patients unresponsive to prostaglandin I2. This study reviews the outcomes after transplantation for PHT in our program. Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed for 100 consecutive patients with either primary PHT (48%) or secondary PHT (52%) transplants since 1989. Living recipients were contacted to confirm health and functional status. Results. Fifty-five adult and 45 pediatric patients underwent 51 bilateral lung transplants, 39 single lung transplants, and 10 heart-lung transplants. Mean age was 23.7 years (range, 1.2 months to 54.8 years) and mean pre-transplant New York Heart Association class was 3.2. Pre-transplant hemodynamics revealed a mean right atrial pressure of 9.6 ± 5.4 mm Hg and mean pulmonary artery pressure of 64 ± 14.4 mm Hg. Hospital mortality was 17% with early death predominantly because of graft failure and infection. With an average follow-up of 5.0 years, 1- and 5-year actuarial survival was 75% and 57%, respectively. Mean pulmonary artery pressure on follow-up catheterization was 22 ± 6.0 mm Hg, and mean follow-up New York Heart Association class was 1.3 (p < 0.001 for both compared with pre-transplant). Diagnosis and type of transplant did not confer a significant difference in survival between groups. Conclusions. Whereas lung or heart-lung transplant for PHT is associated with higher early mortality than other pulmonary disease entities, it provides similar long-term outcomes with dramatic improvement in both quality of life and physiologic aspects. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




Mendeloff, E. N., Meyers, B. F., Sundt, T. M., Guthrie, T. J., Sweet, S. C., De La Morena, M., … Patterson, G. A. (2002). Lung transplantation for pulmonary vascular disease. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 73(1), 209–219.

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