What causes lung transplantation-related pathology?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Aliya N Husain, MBBS, MD; Chief Editor: Philip T Cagle, MD  more...
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The etiology of lung transplantation–related pathology is almost always immune-mediated. The transplantation of a ”foreign” organ, despite meticulous matching for donor-recipient compatibility, leads to a complex adaptive and innate immune system–mediated injury. Although aimed at protecting the host from infection, in the context of transplantation, this injury leads to allograft rejection. Such chronic injury is usually mediated by anti–human leukocyte antigen antibodies.

Although advances in tissue typing and cross-match testing have helped to deter severe transplant rejection, rejection may result from direct cellular attack (cellular rejection) or be mediated by antibodies (humoral rejection). These are discussed under the "Microscopic Findings" section.

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