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Lung transplantation after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation


  • Conflict of interest: None.

Corresponding author: Sara J. Shumway, MD, University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, MMC 207, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Tel.: 612 626 0976; fax: 612 625 1683;


Whitson BA, Shelstad RC, Hertz MI, Kelly RF, D’Cunha J, Shumway SJ. Lung transplantation after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Clin Transplant 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2011.01482.x.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Introduction:  Pulmonary insufficiency following bone marrow transplant (BMT) is common and has significant associated mortality. Lung transplantation (LTX) is the only viable treatment for patients with end-stage pulmonary disease, but LTX after BMT is an uncommon event given the medical candidacy of the potential recipients. We sought to evaluate the short- and long-term outcomes of LTX in BMT recipients.

Methods:  We performed a retrospective evaluation of our institution’s longitudinal LTX and BMT databases. Demographic and outcomes variables were collected.

Results:  We identified 639 LTX from January 1, 1988, through December 31, 2009, and 5525 BMT from program inception, March 21, 1974, through December 31, 2009. From the cross-referenced cohort, we identified four patients who had BMT followed by LTX. Our series was composed of two men and two women, with a mean age of 32.3 yr (range, 20–59 yr). Single LTX were performed in two recipients (50%). All patients had significant and expected morbidities related to their transplant immunosuppression. Three patients (75%) required cardiopulmonary bypass at the time of LTX. The two recipients who underwent bilateral LTX required open chest management and subsequent tracheostomy. All patients are still alive at follow-up (range, 19–119 months, median 39.5).

Conclusion:  Our study demonstrates that LTX in the setting of BMT is a high-risk operation with the potential for a tumultuous perioperative course. Despite this, good outcomes and survival are obtainable in carefully selected patients. Selection factors include clinically stable patients without active sepsis and preoperative optimization of nutrition in anticipation of a prolonged recovery. An experienced multidisciplinary team approach and a protocol-driven management plan are paramount for successful outcomes in this challenging population.