Article Abstract

Lung volume reduction followed by lung transplantation—considerations on selection criteria and outcome

Authors: Alexis Slama, Christian Taube, Markus Kamler, Clemens Aigner


Lung transplantation (LuTX) and lung volume reduction (LVR), either surgical (LVRS: lung volume reduction surgery) or endoscopic (ELVR: endoscopic lung volume reduction), are established therapies in the treatment of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Careful patient selection is crucial for each intervention. If these techniques are sequentially applied there is a paucity of available data and individual center experiences vary depending on details in selection criteria and operative technique. This review aims to summarize the published data with a focus on LuTX after LVRS. This review covers patient selection for LuTX and LVR, technical considerations, limitations and outcomes. Published literature was identified by systematic search on Medline and appropriate papers were reviewed. Seven case reports/series, 7 comparative observational studies and one multicenter database analysis incorporating a total of 284 patients with LuTX and LVR were evaluated. Prior LVR can significantly affect intraoperative and postoperative risks after subsequent LuTX. Careful patient selection and timing and the choice of appropriate techniques such as minimal invasive LVRS and using ECMO as extracorporeal support during LuTX if required can minimize those risks, ultimately leading to very good postoperative outcomes in terms of lung function and survival. LVRS has the potential to delay listing and to bridge patients to LuTX by improving their physical condition while on the waiting list. After single lung transplantation (SLuTX) contralateral LVRS can counteract the deleterious effects of native lung hyperinflation (NLH). LVR and LuTX are adjunct therapies in the treatment of end-stage COPD. The combination of both can safely be considered in selected patients.