, Volume 78, Issue 10, pp 965–982 | Cite as

The Evolution of Lung Transplant Immunosuppression

  • Steven Ivulich
  • Glen Westall
  • Michael Dooley
  • Gregory Snell
Leading Article


Advances in immunosuppression have been a key component to the ongoing success of lung transplantation. The demographics of patients receiving a lung transplant have evolved with older, more critically ill patients and those with previously contraindicated indications, now becoming recipients. Despite the lack of new classes of maintenance immunosuppression drugs becoming available, advances have been made in the prescribing of traditional immunosuppressive therapies. Developments in immunosuppressive regimens have seen changes in the route of administration, approaches to monitoring and combinations used. Long-term complications of immunosuppression, such as nephrotoxicity and malignancy can limit the success of lung transplantation, and strategies have evolved in recent years to minimise their long-term impact. Although survival outcomes have been steadily improving, chronic lung allograft dysfunction remains a barrier to long-term success. However, treatments for antibody-mediated rejection are emerging as a potential new therapeutic target to decrease the incidence of chronic lung allograft dysfunction. This article provides an update on the current status of immunosuppression after lung transplantation and reviews the evidence for immunosuppressive regimens and the implications for practice.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Steven Ivulich has complied with the ethical standards and has no conflicts of interest. Michael Dooley has complied with the ethical standards and has no conflicts of interest. Glen Westall has complied with the ethical standards and has no conflicts of interest. Gregory Snell has complied with the ethical standards and has no conflicts of interest.


Steven Ivulich has received no funding that was used to assist with the preparation of the manuscript. Michael Dooley has received no funding that was used to assist with the preparation of the manuscript. Glen Westall has received no funding that was used to assist with the preparation of the manuscript. Gregory Snell has received no funding that was used to assist with the preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Ivulich
    • 1
  • Glen Westall
    • 2
  • Michael Dooley
    • 1
  • Gregory Snell
    • 2
  1. 1.Pharmacy DepartmentAlfred HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Lung Transplant ServiceAlfred HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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