Despite the development of several lung transplantation procedures, the most advantageous for pulmonary hypertension remains controversial. Between 1986 and February 1992, 30 patients with end-stage primary pulmonary hypertension (n = 24), chronic pulmonary embolism (n = 4), and hystiocytosis X (n = 2) underwent heart-lung (n = 21), double lung (n = 8), or single lung (n = 1) transplantation. Indications for double lung transplantation were similar to those for heart-lung transplantation, and the preoperative clinical and hemodynamic parameters were not significantly different between the two groups. There were no intraoperative deaths, but two reoperations were needed for pleural hematoma. Five early deaths were related to graft failure (two heart-lung transplantations), mediastinitis (one heart-lung transplantation), multiorgan failure (one double lung transplantation), and aspergillosis (one double lung transplantation). There was a similar improvement in early (days 0 and 2) and late (6 months postoperatively) right-sided hemodynamic function in patients undergoing heart-lung and double lung transplantation. Three double lung transplant recipients had early and reversible left ventricular-failure. The early postoperative course of the one patient who had single lung transplantation was characterized by severe pulmonary edema, left ventricular failure, and persistent desaturation and later on by moderate pulmonary hypertension and an important ventilation/perfusion mismatch. The pulmonary function results were also similar in the heart-lung and double lung transplantation groups. The overall projected 2- and 4-year survivals were 49% and 41%, respectively, and were not significantly different between the heart-lung and double lung recipients. Results demonstrate that heart-lung and double lung transplantation are equally effective in obtaining early and durable right-sided hemodynamic and respiratory improvement and similar respiratory function. In patients with pulmonary hypertension, double lung transplantation should be preferred to single lung transplantation because of the critical postoperative course and the uncertain long-term results of single lung transplantation.