Postmortem findings in lung transplant recipients.

TitlePostmortem findings in lung transplant recipients.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsHusain AN, Siddiqui MT, Reddy VB, Yeldandi V, Montoya A, Garrity ER
JournalMod Pathol
Date Published1996 Jul
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Autopsy, Female, Graft Rejection, Humans, Infections, Lung Transplantation, Lymphoproliferative Disorders, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies

Lung transplantation is now an accepted modality for treating end-stage lung disease. To better understand the factors limiting the survival of these patients, we reviewed the autopsy findings in 37 patients who received lung transplants. Between 1986 and 1995, 131 patients have undergone lung transplantation at our institution, including 4 patients with repeat transplantations. Of these, 48 (36.6%) died, 37 (77%) of whom had an autopsy. The autopsied patients were divided into three groups on the basis of post-transplantation interval: early (< 30 d), intermediate (31-365 d), and late (> 365 d). Of the 12 patients in the early group, 6 died of intra- and postoperative complications and 6 of bacterial infection with pneumonia in the transplanted lung. There were 18 patients in the intermediate group, of whom 11 died of infection (5 of cytomegalovirus, 5 of nonviral infections of the transplanted lung, and 1 of encephalomyelitis), 3 of post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder, 3 of chronic airway rejection, and one of unrelated cause. Of the seven patients in the late group, four died of chronic airway rejection, two of unrelated causes, and one of bacterial infection. Native lungs examined in 23 patients showed, in addition to the primary disease, bacterial pneumonia in 5, post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder in 3, cytomegalovirus in 2, and aspergillosis in 1. In this series of 37 autopsied patients, chronic rejection was the cause of death in 7 and was concomitantly seen in 3 patients (27%). In summary, the most common cause of death was infection (48%), followed by chronic rejection (19%), surgical complications (19%), post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (7%), and unrelated causes (7%); rejection was not a major cause of death in the early and intermediate post-transplantation periods; in 30% of native lungs, significant pathologic findings were present in addition to the primary disease; and in the intermediate post-transplantation period, significant left ventricular hypertrophy occurred, which may be attributable to cyclosporine-induced hypertension but which needs to be further studied.

Alternate JournalMod Pathol
PubMed ID8832558
Related Faculty: 
Momin Siddiqui, M.D.

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464
Surgical Pathology: (212) 746-2700