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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1998 Sep;14(3):311-8.

Does bronchial artery revascularization influence results concerning bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and/or obliterative bronchiolitis after lung transplantation?

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  • 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The National University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To study the frequency of histological obliterative bronchiolitis and clinical bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after en bloc double lung transplantation with bronchial artery revascularization and bilateral lung transplantation without bronchial artery revascularization.


Primary en bloc double lung transplantation with bronchial artery revascularization using the internal mammary artery as conduit was performed in 62 patients. The frequencies of obliterative bronchiolitis and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome have been established from transbronchial biopsies and lung function measurements. Results have been analyzed in relation to the arteriographic success of bronchial artery revascularization and have been compared to results from Stanford University, obtained through personal communications.


Survival after 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years was 85, 81, 69, 69, and 69%, respectively. Fifteen patients developed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome while seven developed obliterative bronchiolitis. Survival was superior for patients with bronchial artery revascularization classified as complete or incomplete bilateral versus incomplete hemilateral, incomplete poor or failed (P = 0.016, log-rank test). For patients surviving > or = 3 months post-transplant, the post-operative baseline FEV1 was lower for patients who later developed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome compared to patients who did not (P = 0.007). The development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and obliterative bronchiolitis were both correlated to observation time post-transplant but not to the number of rejections or infections when corrected for observation time.


In a subgroup of lung transplant patients, a process in the transplanted lungs, eventually leading to bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome diagnosis, seems to start in the donor during the transplantation and/or in the early post-operative cause. A comparison with results after bilateral lung transplantation without bronchial artery revascularization suggests that good direct bronchial artery revascularization may postpone the onset of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and obliterative bronchiolitis. The positive trend motivates further use of direct bronchial artery revascularization in lung transplantation.

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