Heart-lung transplantation: current indications, prognosis and specific considerations
Heart-lung transplantation (HLTx) is currently the best treatment for patients who have end-stage heart and lung failure. Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) was the main indication for HLTx in the 1980s. However, when studies showed resolution of right ventricular dysfunction after double-lung transplantation (DLTx), this last procedure became the preferred option for end-stage IPAH. Currently, the main indication of HLTx is congenital heart disease (CHD), followed by acquired heart disease combined with pulmonary hypertension and/or intrinsic lung disease. Although early posttransplant survival remains lower after HLTx than after lung transplantation, careful patient selection combined with surgical advances are producing improvements. Here, we review the practice patterns, trends, and outcomes of HLTx worldwide.