Lung transplantation is a treatment option for end-stage lung diseases, excluding lung cancer, when life expectancy is short and quality of life is poor. In most instances pulmonary function and quality of life improves after lung transplantation. Infections and rejection are the most common complications and limit the feasibility of lung transplantation.
Retrospective analysis of lung transplantations performed on Icelanders from February 1988 to January 2015. Clinical information was obtained from medical records and a database was created. Information on demographics, underlying lung disease, type of transplantation, immunosuppression, rejection and other complications was collected.
A total of 21 lung transplantations were performed, one of which was a retransplantation. There were 9 females and 11 males and the mean age was 45 years (20-61 years). Most of the operations were done at the Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg. Bilateral lung transplantion was the most common operation. COPD was the most common indication. Rejection and infections were the most common complications. Eight of 20 patients have had acute rejection and half of the patients chronic rejection. Six of 20 patients are deceased, three died from chronic rejection. Median survival is 8,5 years. Five-year survival is 74%.
Lung transplantations are currently performed at the Sahlgrenska hospital in Gothenburg but follow-up is in the hands of specialized pulmonologists in Iceland. Complications and survival for Icelandic patients is similar to larger centers. Close cooperation with the transplanting center is essential.