Purpose of review
In this article, an overview of the survival after lung transplantation will be given, with a focus on factors affecting outcome and differences in survival determined by underlying disease.
Lung transplantation is an established treatment modality for patients with various end-stage lung diseases. The most recent International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Registry reports a 1 and 5-year survival of 85 and 59%, respectively, for adult lung transplant recipients transplanted since 2010. Over the past decades, significant improvements in patient outcomes have been achieved related to changes in donor selection, organ preservation, perioperative management and better treatment of postoperative complications. However, long-term graft and patient outcomes still lag behind that of other solid organ transplantations. Chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) a condition which develops in about 50% of recipients 5 year after lung transplantation, remains the major barrier for long-term survival, although development of solid organ cancer is nowadays also an increasing cause of late mortality.
Lung transplantation offers a survival benefit in well chosen patients with end-stage lung diseases. However, CLAD, side effects of immunosuppressive therapy and solid organ cancer remain important challenges impairing long-term survival. Advances in prevention and treatment of chronic rejection are critical to further improve outcome.