Lung Transplantation for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Adults: A Clinical and Pathologic Study of 3 Cases

Natalia Liu, Oscar W. Cummings, Amir Lagstein, Chadi A. Hage, Kevin M. Chan, Chen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is usually seen in premature infants who require mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for acute respiratory distress. Although most patients wean from oxygen therapy by the ages of 2 to 3, rehospitalization for respiratory problems is common in these patients in adulthood. There have been few studies that document the long-term outcomes of BPD survivors and information about the pulmonary function and radiographic findings of adult BPD are limited. Data on pathologic features of adult BPD are scarce. Three adult patients who underwent recent lung transplantation for BPD from 2 institutions were identified. Clinical data including clinical presentation, chest radiographic images, pulmonary function tests, cardiac catheterization, and echocardiography were retrieved from the electronic medical records. Hematoxylin and eosin and selective elastic stained sections of the explant lungs were examined. CD31 immunohistochemical stain is performed on representative sections. All 3 cases had similar clinical and radiologic features including the history of prematurity and long-term mechanical ventilation after birth, hyperexpanded lungs with air trapping and mosaic attenuation on chest computed tomographic scan, severe obstructive changes on pulmonary function test, and pulmonary hypertension. Pathologic examination showed common features including enlarged and simplified alveoli, peribronchial, subpleural, and interlobular septal fibrosis, narrowing/obliteration of the small airways by elastosis and muscular hypertrophy, thickening of venous walls by fibromuscular hyperplasia, and bronchitis/bronchiolitis. Cholesterol granulomas were seen in 2 cases. The common pathologic findings in the lungs explain the clinical and radiologic findings. Future studies are warranted to further characterize the clinical and pathologic features of adult BPD to develop optimal management strategies for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • adult bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • lung transplantation
  • pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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