J Thorac Dis. 2014 Aug; 6(8): 1138–1142.


Combined heart-lung transplantation remains the only definitive therapy for patients who have both end-stage heart failure and end-stage lung failure. The most common indication is congenital heart disease (CHD) and the proportion is increasing for acquired heart disease concomitant with pulmonary hypertension and/or intrinsic lung diseases. Previously, idiopathic pulmonary hypertension was the most common indication. However, it has been shown that right ventricular failure can be reversed after double lung transplantation. Therefore, patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) should not undergo combined heart-lung transplantation unless left ventricular dysfunction co-exists. The ISHLT registry data shows survival after heart-lung transplantation is improving, but still its survival rates are 71% at 3 months, 63% at 1 year, 44% at 5 years and 31% at 10 years. With appropriate patient selection and surgical expertise, these outcomes should improve further.

Keywords: Heart-lung transplantation, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), congenital heart disease (CHD), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, ventricular assist device

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