This retrospective study was performed to determine if the chest radiograph could serve as a predictor for acute lung rejection in heart-lung transplantation patients. The findings on chest radiographs were correlated with the results of transbronchial biopsies in 16 heart-lung transplantation patients. The chest radiographs immediately preceding 83 biopsies were evaluated for a variety of findings. The histopathologic results of the lung biopsies were divided into five categories: (1) acute lung rejection (n = 25); (2) suggestive, but not diagnostic, of acute lung rejection (n = 8); (3) nonspecific (n = 26); (4) infection (n = 17); and (5) normal lung (n = 9). Biopsies from two patients showed both acute lung rejection and cytomegalovirus infection and were included in both categories. These histopathologic results were then correlated with the radiologic observations. We found that the combination of septal lines and new or increasing pleural effusions, without concomitant increase in cardiac size or vascular pedicle width, or evidence of vascular redistribution, indicated acute lung rejection with a sensitivity of 68% (17/25), specificity of 90% (52/58), and overall accuracy of 83% (69/83). We conclude that the chest radiograph is a useful indicator of acute lung rejection.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DK48700003
View details for PubMedID 2112858