Lung transplantation for coronavirus disease 2019 acute respiratory distress syndrome/fibrosis: silver lining of a global pandemic

Emily J. Cerier, Ankit Bharat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose of review: The COVID-19 pandemic revolutionized the field of lung transplantation, as lung transplant is now an acceptable life-saving therapy for select patients with COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), while prior to the pandemic, few transplants were performed for ARDS. This review article details the establishment of lung transplantation as a viable therapy for COVID-19-related respiratory failure, how to evaluate COVID-19 patients for lung transplant, and specific technical considerations for the operation. Recent findings: Lung transplantation is a life-altering treatment for two distinct cohorts of COVID-19 patients: those with irrecoverable COVID-19-associated ARDS and those who recover from the initial COVID-19 insult but are left with chronic, debilitating post-COVID fibrosis. Both cohorts require stringent selection criteria and extensive evaluation to be listed for lung transplantation. As the first COVID-19 lung transplantation was recently performed, long-term outcomes are lacking; however, short-term outcome data of COVID-19-related lung transplants are promising. Summary: Given the challenges and complexities associated with COVID-19-related lung transplantation, strict patient selection and evaluation are required with an experienced multidisciplinary team at a high-volume/resource center. With promising short-term outcome data, ongoing studies are needed to assess long-term outcomes of COVID-19-related lung transplants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

Keywords

  • acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • lung transplantation
  • patient selection and evaluation
  • postcoronavirus disease fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology and Allergy

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