Lung Transplantation as a Therapeutic Option in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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Lung transplantation (LTPL) is considered as a salvage therapeutic option in patients with end-stage lung disease. However, there is a lack of sufficient data on the use of LTPL in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although there are few case reports on lung transplant for ARDS, no case series exists up to date. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with ARDS in accordance with the LTPL status.


Patients who had severe ARDS (PaO2/FiO2 ratio ≤ 100 mm Hg with positive end-expiratory pressure ≥ 5 cm H2O) and were listed for LTPL with no underlying end-stage lung disease were included in this single-center retrospective study. Demographic and clinical data of the patients were collected and analyzed.


Fourteen patients were listed for LTPL due to severe ARDS. All patients received mechanical ventilation, and 12 (86%) patients underwent extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Of the 9 patients who underwent LTPL, 8 (89%) survived, whereas only 1 (20%) patient out of those who did not receive LTPL survived. The median survival time of the patients who underwent LTPL was 1996 days (interquartile range [IQR], 872-2239), compared with 49 days (IQR, 872-2239) in patients who did not undergo LTPL. The median survival time after LTPL was 64 months (IQR, 28-72). The 3-year survival rate of the recipients was 78%.


LTPL may be considered as a therapeutic option in a select group of patients with severe ARDS. However, the irreversibility of the patient's lung status should be considered.

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