Original Article

Long term complications following 54 consecutive lung transplants

Walther Tabarelli, Hugo Bonatti, Dominique Tabarelli, Miriam Eller, Ludwig Müller, Elfriede Ruttmann, Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Clara Larcher, Christian Geltner


Background: Due to the complex therapy and the required high level of immunosuppression, lung recipients are at high risk to develop many different long term complications.
Methods: From 1993–2000, a total of 54 lung transplantation (LuTx) were performed at our center. Complications, graft and patient survival of this cohort was retrospectively analyzed.
Results: One/five and ten-year patient survival was 71.4%, 41.2% and 25.4%; at last follow up (4/2010), twelve patients were alive. Of the 39 deceased patients, 26 died from infectious complications. Other causes of death were myocardial infarction (n=1), progressive graft failure (n=1), intracerebral bleeding (n=2), basilary vein thrombosis (n=1), pulmonary emboli (n=1), others (n=7). Surgical complication rate was 27.7% during the first year and 25% for the 12 long term survivors. Perioperative rejection rate was 35%, and 91.6% for the 12 patients currently alive. Infection incidence during first hospitalization was 79.6% (1.3 episodes per transplant) and 100% for long term survivors. Commonly isolated pathogens were cytomegalovirus (56.8%), Aspergillus (29.4%), RSV (13.7%). Other common complications were renal failure (56.8%), osteoporosis (54.9%), hypertension (45%), diabetes mellitus (19.6%).
Conclusions: Infection and rejection remain the most common complications following LuTx with many other events to be considered.

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