Chest radiographic findings after bilateral lung transplantation

S. J. Herman, G. L. Weisbrod, L. Weisbrod, G. A. Patterson, J. R. Maurer

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30 Scopus citations


We reviewed the postoperative chest radiographic and CT findings in the first 13 patients who underwent bilateral lung transplantation at our institution. Portable chest radiography was performed daily for about 10 days, after which upright posteroanterior studies were performed daily for about 10 days, and then as clinically required. CT was performed when a complication was suspected. The reimplantation response (noncardiogenic pulmonary edema due to ischemia, trauma, denervation, and lymphatic interruption) occurred in 12 patients and usually consisted of bilateral perihilar and basal consolidation. Twelve episodes of acute rejection, an imprecise clinical diagnosis, occurred in 10 patients. Radiographic changes consisted of bibasal (n = 2), right mid and lower (n = 2), or left basal consolidation (n = 1); there were no changes in seven episodes. Radiographic resolution occurred in four cases after administration of IV steroids. The radiographic findings associated with the reimplantation response and rejection were nonspecific and were mimicked by fluid overload and infection. Bronchial dehiscence and/or stricture formation occurred in seven patients; generally chest radiography was inaccurate and CT was very accurate in the assessment of these complications. Chest radiography was helpful but not definitive in sorting out the problems occurring in the postoperative period after bilateral lung transplantation. CT was excellent for use in demonstrating airway problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1185
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989


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