Lung transplantation in patients with connective tissue disorders and esophageal dysmotility


  • Presented as an oral presentation at the 27th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. San Francisco, California, April 25–28, 2007.

Dr Marco G. Patti, MD, Department of Surgery, 521 Parnassus Avenue, Room C-341, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0790. Email:


SUMMARY.  Lung and esophageal dysfunction are common in patients with connective tissue disease (CTD). Recent reports have suggested a link between pathologic gastroesophageal reflux and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) after lung transplant. Because patients with CTD have a high incidence of esophageal dysmotility and reflux, this group may be at increased risk of allograft dysfunction after lung transplantation. Little is known about antireflux surgery in these patients. Our aims were to describe: (i) the esophageal motility and reflux profile of patients with CTD referred for lung transplantation; and (ii) the safety and outcomes of laparoscopic fundoplication in this group. A retrospective review of 26 patients with CTD referred for lung transplantation between July 2003 and June 2007 at a single center. Esophageal studies included manometry and ambulatory 24-h pH monitoring. Twenty-three patients had esophageal manometry and ambulatory 24-h pH monitoring. Nineteen patients (83%) had pathologic distal reflux and 7 (30%) also had pathologic proximal reflux. Eighteen patients (78%) had impaired or absent peristalsis. Eleven of 26 patients underwent lung transplantation. Ten patients are alive at a median follow-up of 26 months (range 3–45) and one has bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome-1. Six patients had a laparoscopic fundoplication, 1 before transplantation and 5 after. All fundoplication patients are alive at median follow-up of 25 months (range 19–45). In conclusion, esophageal dysmotility and reflux are common in CTD patients referred for lung transplant. For this group, laparoscopic fundoplication is safe in experienced hands.