Lung transplantation for lymphangioleiomyomatosis: role of imaging in the assessment of complications related to the underlying disease

Radiology. 1999 Feb;210(2):325-32. doi: 10.1148/radiology.210.2.r99fe11325.


Purpose: To identify the complications and imaging findings related to lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) after lung transplantation.

Materials and methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical histories and imaging studies of 13 patients from five major medical centers who underwent unilateral (n = 8) or bilateral (n = 5) lung transplantation for LAM between 1991 and 1997. Complications related to LAM, both before and after transplantation, were recorded.

Results: The following LAM-related complications were found during and after transplantation: excessive pleural adhesions (n = 4), native lung pneumothorax (n = 3), chylous effusion (n = 1), chylous ascites (n = 3), complications from renal angiomyolipomas (n = 4), and recurrent LAM (n = 1). Diagnosis could be made or suggested with computed tomography (CT) in all cases. Four patients (31%) died; one patient died of complications of LAM.

Conclusions: Patients who have undergone lung transplantation for LAM have increased morbidity and mortality due to complications related to their underlying disease. These LAM-related complications can be diagnosed or suggested with CT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiomyolipoma / complications
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Lung Transplantation* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / complications*
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / surgery*
  • Morbidity
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Adhesions / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed