Background: Combined lung and liver transplantation (Lu-LTx) is a therapeutic option for selected patients with coexisting lung and liver disease. For several reasons, Lu-LTx is performed in few centers and information about the technical issues, posttransplant management and long-term outcomes associated with this procedure is limited.
Methods: We analyzed data from 13 consecutive patients who underwent combined Lu-LTx at Hannover Medical School (Hannover, Germany) between April 1999 and December 2003. The main indications were cystic fibrosis, alpha1-proteinase inhibitor deficiency and portopulmonary hypertension. All patients had advanced cirrhosis and severe pulmonary disease manifestation.
Results: Ten patients received a sequential double Lu-LTx, one patient received a single Lu-LTx, one received a double lung and split liver transplantation, and one received an en-bloc heart-lung and liver transplantation. Immunosuppression was based on cyclosporine in a triple/quadruple regimen. Postoperative surgical complications occurred in eight patients. There were two perioperative deaths; two patients died during the first year on day 67 and 354, respectively, and one patient died at month 53. The overall patient survival rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were 69%, 62%, and 49%, respectively.
Conclusion: Combined Lu-LTx is a therapeutic option for highly selected patients with end-stage lung and liver disease with acceptable long-term outcome.