Single lung transplantation for severe emphysema

William A Marinelli, M. I. Hertz, S. J. Shumway, J. M.K. Fox, C. A. Henke, Keith R Harmon, K. Savik, R. M. Bolman

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26 Scopus citations


Lung transplantation is effective therapy for patients with severe obstructive lung disease. We reviewed seven patients with severe emphysema (age, 48 ± 5 years; forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] 0.76 ± 0.26 liters) who received single-lung transplants (SLT) at our institution between August 1989 and September 1990. Studies to assess the adequacy of cardiac function before transplantation showed moderately reduced right ventricular function (by multiple gated acquisition, 34 ± 6%), moderately elevated pulmonary artery pressure (25 ± 3 mm Hg), and normal left ventricular function (by multiple gated acquisition 65% ± 12%) and coronary arteriograms. Time on the waiting list before transplantation was reduced compared with heart-lung transplant (HLT) recipients (waiting time, 2.9 ± 1.5 months for SLT, 9.6 ± 10.2 months for HLT). Six of the SLT recipients are currently alive (after transplantation interval, 17 ± 5 months); the remaining recipient died of pulmonary embolism 21 days after SLT. Number of ventilator days, intensive care unit days, and days to hospital discharge after transplantation did not differ significantly from HLT recipients. Cardiopulmonary bypass was necessary in four SLT recipients. Pulmonary function was markedly improved after SLT (FEV1, 1.78 ± 0.73 L/min after SLT versus 0.75 ± 0.3 L/min before SLT; p < 0.01), and functional status is correspondingly improved. Conclusions: SLT constitutes effective therapy for patients with severe emphysema, including those with moderate reduction of right ventricular function; and SLT offers distinct advantages over HLT, including decreased waiting time before transplantation, improved donor organ utilization, and less frequent need for cardiopulmonary bypass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - 1992


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