Vascular complications of lung transplantation

Stephen Clark, Adrian Levine, Asif Hasan, Colin Hilton, Jonathan Forty, John Dark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The data on vascular anastomotic complications after single-lung and bilateral lung transplantation are scant. Methods. We reviewed the data on our patients having single and bilateral lung transplantation to examine our experience and management of vascular anastomotic complications. Results. We retrospectively identified 5 of 109 consecutive patients undergoing lung transplantation who had postopreative pulmonary arterial or venous obstruction. There were 4 women and 1 man (age range, 32 to 53 years). Three patients had left single-lung transplantation, 1 patient had right single-lung transplantation, and 1 patient underwent bilateral sequential lung transplantation. Complications comprised two right-sided and two left-sided pulmonary artery stenoses and one combined left pulmonary arterial and venous obstruction. Isotope perfusion scanning was used in 3 patients and suggested a vascular stenosis in all of them. Pulmonary angiography was used in each as a confirmatory test and to demonstrate anatomic details. Transesophageal echocardiography was used in 1 patient and did not detect a right pulmonary artery stenosis. One patient underwent revision of a pulmonary artery stenosis with a period of warm ischemia and subsequent fatal lung injury. Two revisions were undertaken on cardiopulmonary bypass with a cold blood flush to the transplanted lung. One venous anastomotic angioplasty with stent insertion was performed. Two patients died before treatment. All 5 patients died between 5 and 630 days postoperatively. Conclusions. Vascular complications carry a high mortality. Reoperation, preferably using cardiopulmonary bypass and a cold blood flush technique to avoid further lung injury, is recommended. In high-risk patients, dilation or stent insertion can be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1082
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


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