Retransplantation following isolated lung transplantation

John D. Miller, G. Alexander Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The results of retransplantation for early allograft failure are discouraging. Fortunately, with recent technical advances and improved postoperative immunosuppression, airway complications have been significantly reduced. It is now unusual to see patients with airway complications following lung transplantation. This group of patients is not likely to represent a large population in need of retransplantation in the future. However, rejection-mediated OB remains a persistent problem seen in all transplant centers. The group of patients who deteriorate despite augmented immunosuppression will put increasing pressure on transplant programs to provide the only known solution for survival: retransplantation. In the Toronto experience, only 1 patient survived early retransplantation. Three of the 5 recipients retransplanted late in their course have survived and 2 are presently alive and well. Yet this is in sharp contrast to the current 80% 1-year survival for initial transplant recipients. As the demand for donor lungs increases with the growing need for first-time procedures, the use of donor lungs for retransplantation becomes a significant problem. The decision whether to allocate a donor lung (and commit significant hospital resources) to a retransplant recipient or to a first-time recipient is difficult. A patient with early graft failure has a dismal prognosis and a decision not to retransplant may be who has developed OB late following their initial transplant is much more difficult. It is still our responsibility to manage this limited resource and provide donor lungs to those who have the optimal chance of survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-125
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992


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