Lung Transplant

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General Information About Lung Transplant

Lung Transplant Week

Lung transplantation is an innovative therapy for patients with end-stage lung disease resulting from COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and other rare pulmonary-related diseases such as Alpha-1 Antitrypsin, Sarcoidosis, Lymphagioleiomyomatosis, and Lymphangiomatosis.

Patients with advanced forms of these diseases have a poor long-term survival rate. Lung transplantation dramatically improves short-term quality of life. Many patients experience immediate improvements in lung function and return to active lifestyles after the procedure and rehabilitation.

Long-term outcomes after lung transplantation are disappointing. Lung transplant patients experience much higher rates of acute rejection than most other solid-organ transplant recipients. Within five years after transplant, of those who have survived, almost half of these surviving patients develop a form of chronic rejection known as bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS).

Currently, no effective treatment for BOS exists. Therefore, extensive research is needed to understand the high rates of lung transplant acute rejection and BOS in order to prevent deaths and to improve long-term outcomes.

The Lung Transplant Foundation supports global research efforts that are focused on solving critical problems that lung transplant recipients face. The LTF along with the medical community seeks to:

  • Determine the optimal immunosuppressive medications for lung transplant;
  • Determine how to best prevent infections after lung transplant;
  • Determine how to best diagnose and treat bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; and
  • Develop relevant animal models of bronchiolitis obliterans in which pre-clinical drug testing can occur prior to human trials.

Four Facts About Lung Transplant

  1. In 2013, approximately 12,000 pairs of lungs were donated for transplantation

  2. In 2013, there were 1794 lung transplants in the US; 60% men and 40% women, now waiting for transplant, 1646.

  3. Lungs are the most difficult of all solid organs to transplant

  4. To date there are not any drugs developed specifically for lung transplant