BMJ Open Respir Res 8 (1) - [2021-09-00; online 2021-09-22]
There have been a few reports of successful lung transplantation (LTx) in patients with SARS-CoV-2-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, all reports were with rather short follow-up. Here we present a 62-year-old man without prior lung diseases. Following SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS and 6 months of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, he underwent LTx. 3 months post-transplantation he developed acute hypoxia requiring emergency intubation. Chest imaging showed acute rejection, and de novo DQ8-DSA was discovered. He was treated with a high dose of corticosteroids and plasmapheresis and was extubated 4 days later, yet the de novo DQ8-DSA remained. After sessions of plasmapheresis and rituximab, the levels of de novo DQ8-DSA remained unchanged. Nine months post-transplantation the patient died of respiratory failure. We herein discuss the decision to transplant, the transplantation itself and the postoperative course with severe antibody-mediated rejection. In addition, we evaluated the histological changes of the explanted lungs and compared these with end-stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis tissue, where both similarities and differences are seen. With the current case experience, one might consider close monitoring regarding DSA, and gives further support that LTx should only be considered for very carefully selected patients.