Purpose of review: Anastomotic airway complications continue to plague recovery after lung transplantation and serve as a major source of morbidity and mortality. Prevalence has surprisingly remained relatively constant over the last decade, despite improvement in overall transplant survival.
Recent findings: Anastomotic airway complications occur in about one-fifth of patients following lung transplantation and are formidable and persistent problems. Technical issues associated with complications are difficult to define, but may include telescoping anastomoses and donor-recipient size mismatch. Endobronchial therapy of complications has reduced early mortality, but may not impact the late deleterious consequences of these complications. A therapeutic algorithm has been developed to assist clinicians.
Summary: Despite increasing experience, anastomotic airway complications remain problematic. Continued investigation into this process appears warranted, given the impact and prevalence. Very few risk factors currently appear modifiable, however.