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Lung transplantation: the new point of view of an Italian centre



Lung transplantation: the new point of view of an Italian centre



Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 55(4): 283-286



Lung transplantation has become an accepted therapy for patients with end-stage lung disease. The survival rate after this operation is not, however, satisfactory, being 40-50% at 5 yrs after lung transplantation; infections and pulmonary rejection (acute and chronic) are the cause of this brief survival. Recently, it has been shown that lung transplantation is an advantageous solution only for selected pathologies. The introduction of alternatives to lung transplantation (lung volume reduction surgery in emphysema, prostacyclin therapy in primary pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy in chronic thromboembolic hypertension) has modified the number of patients admitted to the lung transplantation waiting list. In this study, admission to the lung transplantation waiting list in the first 50 and in the following 50 months of activity of the Pulmonary Division Medical Centre of Montescano were retrospectively compared in order to verify whether experience gained has influenced admission to the lung transplantation waiting list. The mortality rate of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (44%), chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (50%) and primary pulmonary hypertension (52%) before lung transplantation was high; the mortality after lung transplantation was low in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (16%), but rather high in primary pulmonary hypertension (55%) and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (50%). In contrast, the mortality rate of patients with Eisenmenger's syndrome and emphysema was fairly low while on the lung transplantation waiting list, but rather high after lung transplantation. The trend in admission to the lung transplantation waiting list changed during the two observation periods, with a reduction in the number of patients with Eisenmenger's syndrome and emphysema, but not of those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and primary pulmonary hypertension. The experience gained modified the authors' approach to lung transplantation, but the "world" of lung transplantation still needs a lot more experience.

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Accession: 046585008

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PMID: 11057079


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