OBJECTIVESLung transplant recipients were reviewed to compare our early and current experience of vascular complications. Since 1995, we have had a policy of early identification and intervention.METHODSWe undertook a retrospective review of all adult lung transplants performed at our centre. Patients with pulmonary vascular complications before and after 1995 were identified and reviewed to determine changes in management and outcome.RESULTSWe identified a total of 13 patients with either pulmonary artery or venous obstruction out of a total of 720 adult lung transplants (1.8%). There were 9 females and 4 males with an age range of 25-64 years. Complications were more common in patients with fibrotic lung disease and involved 15 vascular anastomoses, most commonly the pulmonary arterial anastomosis. Prior to 1995, 5 cases were identified, all postoperatively. In this group, the mean time for identification of the complication was 9.4 (range 4-14) days. Only 1 patient survived to discharge. After 1995, vascular complications were identified intraoperatively in 4 cases and corrected immediately. Four cases were identified postoperatively (at <1-17 days) by a computed tomography pulmonary angiogram. Three were treated surgically within 24 h of diagnosis (using cardiopulmonary bypass with cold preservation). One patient was managed conservatively. Among patients identified after 1995, 5 survived to discharge.CONCLUSIONSThough rare, pulmonary vascular complications after lung transplantation carry high mortality. In our opinion, early identification and intervention improves outcome. Intraoperative assessment by pressure gradient measurement and transoesophageal echocardiography is recommended. Despite this, mortality remains high and prevention is better than cure.
- Lung transplantation
- Vascular stenosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine