Since March 1981, 19 patients have undergone heart-lung transplantation for end-stage pulmonary vascular disease, with 14 long-term survivors. In five of the survivors, obstructive airway disease has developed with the superimposition of a progressive restrictive ventilatory defect in three of them. None of these five patients showed a tendency for spontaneous improvement of flow rates. Biopsy and postmortem material was available in four of the five patients and showed obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) in three. A fourth patient showed clinical and physiologic data consistent with obliterative bronchitis, but histologic material was not available. Obstructive lung disease without restrictive features developed in a fifth patient, but no histologic evidence of OB was found at transbronchial biopsy. In addition to OB, recurrent lung infections were found in all patients, significant pleural fibrosis in two patients, and bronchiectasis in one patient. Despite these long-term sequelae of human heart-lung transplantation, ten of the 14 surviving patients are leading relatively normal lives.
View details for Web of Science ID A1984TV20500008
View details for PubMedID 6437751