Pulmonary Complications of Solid Organ and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

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The ability to successfully transplant solid organs and hematopoietic stem cells represents one of the landmark medical achievements of the twentieth century. Solid organ transplantation has emerged as the standard of care for select patients with severe vital organ dysfunction and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has become an important treatment option for patients with a wide spectrum of nonmalignant and malignant hematologic disorders, genetic disorders, and solid tumors. Although advances in surgical techniques, immunosuppressive management, and prophylaxis and treatment of infectious diseases have made long-term survival an achievable goal, transplant recipients remain at high risk for developing a myriad of serious and often life-threatening complications. Paramount among these are pulmonary complications, which arise as a consequence of the immunosuppressed status of the recipient as well as from such factors as the initial surgical insult of organ transplantation, the chemotherapy and radiation conditioning regimens that precede hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and alloimmune mechanisms mediating host-versus-graft and graft-versus-host responses. As the population of transplant recipients continues to grow and as their care progressively shifts from the university hospital to the community setting, knowledge of the pulmonary complications of transplantation is increasingly germane to the contemporary practice of pulmonary medicine.

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