Native lung complications in single-lung transplant recipients and the role of pneumonectomy

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009 Aug;28(8):851-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.04.023.


Single-lung transplant recipients may develop complications in their native lungs that may have an impact on outcomes. One potential therapeutic option is native lung pneumonectomy. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of native lung complications on post-transplant survival in single-lung transplant recipients. We also aimed to determine the morbidity and mortality associated with native lung pneumonectomy (NLP). A retrospective review of all single-lung transplant recipients at our institution from January 1, 1998 to July 15, 2008 was performed. Patients were stratified to one of three groups: no native lung complications; native lung complications requiring native lung pneumonectomy; and native lung complications not managed with native lung pneumonectomy. Survival post-transplant and post-native lung complication were the primary end-points of the study. Significant native lung complications developed in 25 of 180 single-lung transplants (13.8%). Median post-transplant survival was lower in single-lung transplant recipients with significant native lung complications (3.2 years vs 5.3 years, p = 0.002). NLP was performed in 11 patients. Post-operative complications developed in 4 of 11 cases (36.4%), but all patients survived to hospital discharge. There was no significant difference in median survival between single-lung transplant recipients undergoing native lung pneumonectomy and single-lung transplant recipients without native lung complications (4.3 years vs 5.1 years, p = 0.478). Native lung complications impact post-transplant survival in single-lung transplant recipients and may partly explain why outcomes with single-lung transplantation are inferior to those of bilateral lung transplantation. NLP can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Diseases / surgery*
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies