Alterations in Pulmonary Physiology with Lung Transplantation

Manish Mohanka, Amit Banga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Lung transplant is a treatment option for patients with end-stage lung diseases; however, survival outcomes continue to be inferior when compared to other solid organs. We review the several anatomic and physiologic changes that result from lung transplantation surgery, and their role in the pathophysiology of common complications encountered by lung recipients. The loss of bronchial circulation into the allograft after transplant surgery results in ischemia-related changes in the bronchial artery territory of the allograft. We discuss the role of bronchopulmonary anas-tomosis in blood circulation in the allograft posttransplant. We review commonly encountered complications related to loss of bronchial circulation such as allograft airway ischemia, necrosis, anastomotic dehiscence, mucociliary dysfunction, and bronchial stenosis. Loss of dual circulation to the lung also increases the risk of pulmonary infarction with acute pulmonary embolism. The loss of lymphatic drainage during transplant surgery also impairs the management of allograft intersti-tial fluid, resulting in pulmonary edema and early pleural effusion. We discuss the role of lymphatic drainage in primary graft dysfunction. Besides, we review the association of late posttransplant pleural effusion with complications such as acute rejection. We then review the impact of loss of rent and efferent innervation from the allograft on control of breathing, as well as lung protective reflexes. We conclude with discussion about pulmonary function testing, allograft monitoring with spirometry, and classification of chronic lung allograft dysfunction phenotypes based on total lung capacity measurements. We also review factors limiting physical exercise capacity after lung transplantation, especially impairment of muscle metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4269-4293
Number of pages25
JournalComprehensive Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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