Critical care aspects of lung transplant patients

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8 Scopus citations


Major strides have been made in lung transplantation during the 1990s and it has become an established treatment option for patients with advanced lung disease. Due to improvements in organ preservation, surgical techniques, postoperative intensive care, and immunosuppression, the risk of perioperative and early mortality (less than 3 months after transplantation) has declined [1]. The transplant recipient now has a greater chance of realizing the benefits of the long and arduous waiting period. Despite these improvements, suboptimal long-term outcomes continue to be shaped by issues such as opportunistic infections and chronic rejection. Because of the wider use of lung transplantation and the longer life span of recipients, intensivists and ancillary intensive care unit (ICU) staff should be well versed with the care of lung transplant recipients. In this clinical review, issues related to organ donation will be briefly mentioned. The remaining focus will be on the critical care aspects of lung transplant recipients in the posttransplant period, particularly ICU management of frequently encountered conditions. First, the groups of patients undergoing transplantation and the types of procedures performed will be outlined. Specific issues directly related to the allograft, including early graft dysfunction from ischemia-reperfusion injury, airway anastomotic complications, and infections in the setting of immunosuppression will be emphasized. Finally nonpulmonary aspects of post-transplant care and key pharmacologic points in the ICU will be covered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-33
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


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