Solid-organ transplantation has flourished during the last decade, with transplantation of heart and lungs becoming available to patients with end-stage cardiac or pulmonary diseases. The first lung transplant was performed in 1963 on a 58-year-old man with bronchogenic carcinoma. He survived for 18 days. During the. next two decades, approximately 40 lung transplant procedures were attempted without success. These early attempts at lung transplantation were unsuccessful because of the development of lung rejection, anastomotic complications, or infection in the transplant recipients. In the early 1980s, human heart-lung transplantation was successfully performed for the treatment of pulmonary vascular disease. After this procedure, single-lung transplantation for the treatment of end-stage interstitial lung disease and obstructive lung disease was developed. More recently, the technique of double-lung transplantation has come into existence. This article reviews various aspects of lung transplantation, including immunosuppression, lung graft preservation, the various surgical techniques and types of lung transplant procedures available, recipient and donor selection criteria, and postoperative care of the transplant recipient. In addition, infectious and noninfectious complications seen in this particular patient population, including acute and chronic rejection, will be discussed.
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