Lung Transplantation as Successful Treatment of End-stage Idiopathic Pleuroparenchymal Fibroelastosis: A Case Report

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Pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) is a rare condition, characterized by predominantly upper-lobe pleural and subjacent parenchymal fibrosis, the latter being intra-alveolar with accompanying elastosis of the alveolar walls that leads a clinical progression to respiratory failure. This condition may not be as rare as it seems to be, because nowadays the increasing awareness among specialists is raising the number of new diagnoses. Limited data are available about the prognosis, both for secondary and idiopathic forms. Nevertheless, the idiopathic form seems to be rapidly progressive and no treatment can control the disease, which is why management is challenging. Since the disease was characterized, PPFE cases have been reported in the literature, but most have been secondary rather than idiopathic. Of these, few have successfully undergone lung transplantation as a treatment of end-stage respiratory failure. We here report a successful case of a 38-year-old man affected by idiopathic PPFE who underwent bilateral lung transplantation after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation bridging for an abrupt transition to critical clinical conditions. After a complex postoperative course and a first year characterized by acute rejection, the patient is alive at 5 years with a good quality of life. Our experience confirms that lung transplantation would be a valuable treatment option in case of end-stage idiopathic PPFE cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-238
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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