Ten survivors of double lung transplantation using a tracheal anastomosis underwent assessment of their ventilatory responses to hypercapnia (HCVR) at least 3 months postsurgery. At the time of HCVR testing, pulmonary functions were normal in four and abnormal in six patients who demonstrated degrees of obstruction, restriction, or mixed defects. Arterial blood gas measurements were normal. Postoperatively, hypercapnic responses were low or low normal. Mean changes in tidal volume and mean change in respiratory frequency in response to hypercapnia postoperatively were not different in patients with normocapnic versus hypercapnic preoperative blood gases. Neither postoperative resting PCO2 nor muscle strength (as measured by MIP) were predictive of the degree or character of the patients' ventilatory responses to hypercapnia. The factors resulting in the observed blunting of the hypercapnic response in this denervated population require further clarification; however, comparison of data between this patient population and recipients of heart-lung transplantation reported elsewhere suggests that alterations in pulmonary function correlate with the observed depression in HCVR.