An update on current treatment strategies for managing bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2021 Mar;15(3):339-350. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2021.1835475. Epub 2020 Oct 25.


Introduction: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a subtype of chronic lung allograft dysfunction, is quite common, with up to half of all lung recipients developing BOS within 5 years of transplantation. Preventive efforts are aimed at alleviating known risk factors of BOS development, while the primary goal of treatment is to delay the irreversible, fibrotic airway changes, and progressive loss of lung function.

Areas covered: This narrative review will briefly discuss the updated definition, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, risk factors, and survival after BOS while paying particular attention to the salient evidence for optimal preventive strategies and treatments based on investigations in the modern era.

Expert opinion: Future translational research focused on further characterizing the complex interplay between immune and nonimmune mechanisms mediating chronic lung rejection is the first step toward mitigating risk of allograft injury, improving early disease detection with noninvasive biomarkers, and ultimately, developing an effective, targeted therapy that can extend the life of the lung allograft.

Keywords: Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; chronic lung allograft dysfunction; lung transplantation; risk factors; treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans* / diagnosis
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Syndrome
  • Transplantation, Homologous