End-stage lung disease has been treated successfully by lung transplantation (LTXP) at our institution since 1983. We report on the renal function of 30 LTXP recipients who were followed for at least 6 months (mean, 39 months; range, 6-60 months). All patients received quadruple immunosuppressive therapy including cyclosporine A, with a trough serum level (RIA) between 150 and 250 ng/ml for the first 6 months between 125 and 150 mg/ml after 6 months. The mean serum creatinine (SeCr) increased from a baseline value of 75 +/- 3.5 to 182 +/- 13.9 microM at the end of the follow-up. The greatest change in SeCr occurred within the first 6 months post LTXP. Fifteen of 30 patients who were initially normotensive required at least one antihypertensive medication post LTXP. By the end of the follow-up, 9 patients had SeCr > 200 microM. Two patients in this institution have progressed to end-stage renal disease requiring dialytic therapy. CsA nephrotoxicity has emerged as a major source of morbidity in the lung transplant population. Nephrotoxicity occurs early, and there does not appear to be any trend toward reversibility despite a lowering of the dose. Renal parenchymal injury may be progressive, despite an apparent plateau of the SeCr in some patients.