REVIEW – November 2009

Lung transplantation


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Annual ly more than 2000 lung transplantations are performed worldwide. Main indications are endstage chronic obstructive lung disease, α1-ant it rypcin deficiency, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. Less common indications are pulmonary hypertension, bronchiectases, sarcoidosis, lymphangioleiomyomatosis and others. The main aim of lung transplantation is to prolong survival, as well as to improve quality of life. Depending on indication, patients’ age and several other factors, single or double lung transplantation can  be performed. Donor lungs are usually harvested, as is the case with most other solid-organ transplants, from brain-dead donors. In the case of an uncomplicated course, usual posttransplant hospital stay varies between 3 and 4 weeks. All patients are followed up by a transplant pulmonologist to monitor immunosuppressive therapy and to diagnose and treat possible adverse effects and complications. Among other investigations lung function is regularly measured to detect chronic rejection. Median postoperative survival after lung transplantation is nowadays over 50%.