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Transplant Medical Professionals

When to Refer a Patient with Lung Disease

Lung transplantation may be considered as therapy for advanced irreversible lung diseases. Significant advances in experience and organ availability continue to expand patient populations that may be candidates for lung transplantation.

Patients with the following lung diseases should be referred for transplant consideration:

  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • COPD/Emphysema
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Eisenmenger’s Syndrome
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
  • Obliterative Bronchiolitis
  • Occupational Lung Disease
  • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis

The multidisciplinary team of the UH Transplant Institute evaluates potential lung transplant candidates to establish whether or not lung transplantation represents optimal therapy for that particular patient. Occasionally, alternate successful therapies may be identified.

General Indications

All patients considered for lung transplantation shall be suffering from end-stage pulmonary disease and be:

  • Less than 70 years of age
  • Free from other major organ disease
  • Free from major psychosocial problems
  • Capable of participating in pre- and postoperative rehabilitation programs and follow-up

Absolute Contraindications for Lung Transplant:

  • Significant systemic or multisystem disease
  • Active or systemic infection
  • Significant hepatic disease
  • Significant renal disease
  • Current cigarette smoking (minimum six-month period of abstinence and a commitment to continue not smoking post-transplant)
  • History of major cancer within five years
  • Other major medical illness
  • Major psychiatric illness