Lung transplantation: indications and contraindications

J Thorac Dis. 2018 Jul;10(7):4574-4587. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2018.06.141.


The selection of appropriate recipients for lung transplantation is an evolving discipline. As experience with the procedure has developed over the last decades, the identification of transplant candidates has also changed as transplant centers strive to safely provide the therapy to as many patients possible. The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) has developed three editions of recipient selection guidelines. Published in 1998, 2006, and 2015, these guidelines represented the best information relevant to the appropriate selection of lung transplant candidates. A discussion of areas supported by the most robust scientific data will be undertaken, but in many aspects of recipient selection, there is a paucity of data upon which to rely. Therefore, it is ultimately the prerogative and responsibility of individual centers to determine, after carefully weighing the best evidence available, whether a patient is deemed a suitable candidate at a specific program. All possible indications and contraindications for transplantation will be reviewed with attention also given to the appropriate timing of referral and listing of patients with advanced lung disease to a transplant center.

Keywords: Interstitial lung disease (ILD); chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); cystic fibrosis (CF); pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review