Lung transplantation for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Lancet Respir Med. 2019 Mar;7(3):271-282. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30502-2. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive lung disease with a poor prognosis. Lung transplantation is the only intervention shown to increase life expectancy for patients with IPF, but it is associated with disease-specific challenges. In this Review, we discuss the importance of a proactive approach to the management of IPF comorbidities, including gastro-oesophageal reflux, pulmonary hypertension, coronary artery disease, and malignancy. With a donor pool too small to meet demand and unacceptably high mortality on transplant waiting lists, we discuss different systems used internationally to facilitate organ allocation. We explore the rapidly evolving landscape of transplantation for patients with IPF with regards to antifibrotic therapy, technological advances in extracorporeal life support, advances in understanding of the genetics of the disease, and the importance of a holistic multidisciplinary approach to care. Finally, we consider potential advances over the next decade that are envisaged to improve transplantation outcomes in patients with advanced IPF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Lung Transplantation / methods*
  • Patient Care Management / methods*