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Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2008 Summer;20(2):173-82. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2008.05.002.

Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome: alloimmune-dependent and -independent injury with aberrant tissue remodeling.

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Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Long-term success in lung transplantation continues to be challenged by chronic graft dysfunction, which is manifest as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). The mechanisms of BOS involve both immune-mediated pathways (rejection, autoimmune-like mechanisms), and alloimmune-independent pathways (infection, aspiration, ischemia, primary graft failure), which lead to a fibroproliferative responses. BOS correlates histologically with obliterative bronchiolitis in terminal bronchioles and evidence of aberrant remodeling in the airway epithelium, vasculature, stroma, and lymphoid system. A potentially important mechanism that supports the progressive and therapy-resistant nature of BOS is a continuous cycle of ongoing injury and aberrant remodeling. Namely, anatomical and functional abnormalities induce and exacerbate immune-mediated and alloimmune-independent pathways through various mechanisms (e.g., epithelial remodeling decreases mucociliary clearance that exacerbates aspiration-related injury). From this viewpoint, we review current therapeutic strategies and revisit the role of transplant surgeons in attenuating the initial transplant-related injuries to prevent the lung grafts from entering the remodeling-injury cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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