Imaging of lung transplantation: review

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009 Mar;192(3 Suppl):S1-13, quiz S14-9. doi: 10.2214/AJR.07.7061.


OBJECTIVE Lung transplantation is an established treatment for end-stage pulmonary disease. Complications of lung transplantation include airway stenosis and dehiscence, reimplantation response, acute rejection, infection, posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder, and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. The incidence of graft rejection and airway anastomosis experienced in the early years of lung transplantation have been significantly reduced by advances in immunosuppression and surgical techniques. Infection is currently the most common cause of mortality during the first 6 months after transplantation, whereas chronic rejection or obliterative bronchiolitis is the most common cause of mortality thereafter. This article reviews the radiologic findings of different surgical techniques as well as the common early and late complications of lung transplantation. CONCLUSION Radiology plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis and management of complications of lung transplantation. Advancements in surgical technique and medical therapy influence the spectrum of expected radiologic findings. Familiarity with the radiologic appearances of common surgical techniques and complications of lung transplantation is important.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology
  • Biopsy / adverse effects
  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Bronchial Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchial Diseases / etiology
  • Bronchial Diseases / pathology
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / etiology
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hydropneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Hydropneumothorax / etiology
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Lung Transplantation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Transplantation / methods
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pleural Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pleural Diseases / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia, Viral / etiology
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / etiology
  • Recurrence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology