Author(s): Santacruz JF, Mehta AC
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Abstract Overall survival rates of lung transplantation have improved since the first human lung transplantation was performed. A decline in the incidence of airway complications (AC) had been a key feature to achieve the current outcomes. Several proposed risk factors to the development of airway complications have been identified, ranging from the surgical technique to the immunosuppressive regimen. There are essentially six different airway complications post-lung transplantation. The most frequently reported complication is bronchial stenosis. Other complications include bronchial dehiscence, exophytic excessive granulation tissue formation, tracheo-bronchomalacia, bronchial fistulas, and endobronchial infections. The management of post-transplant bronchial complications needs a multispecialty team approach. Prevention of some complications may be possible by early and aggressive medical management as well as by using certain surgical techniques for transplantation. Interventional bronchoscopic procedures, including balloon bronchoplasty, cryotherapy, laser photoresection, electrocautery, high-dose endobronchial brachytherapy, and bronchial stents are among the armamentarium. Also, medical management, like antibiotic prophylaxis and therapy for endobronchial infections, or noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation in case of bronchomalacia, are used to treat an AC. In some cases, different surgical approaches are occasionally required. In this article we review the risk factors, the clinical presentation, the diagnostic methods, as well as the management options of the most common AC after lung transplantation.
This article was published in Proc Am Thorac Soc
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine