Background: Multiple studies have demonstrated an increased incidence of lung cancer in the heart transplant population. We reviewed our cardiac transplantation experience with respect to the development of bronchogenic carcinoma and explored the role of routine chest computed tomography (CT) in its surveillance. Methods: We performed a review of our cardiac transplantation experience, highlighting the incidence of lung cancer, and we analyzed our recent experience with screening chest CT in lung cancer surveillance in this patient group. Results: Eighteen patients developed 20 cases of bronchogenic carcinoma for an incidence of 6.83%. In 10 cases, the patients underwent surgical resection; however, in the remaining cases, the patients were either treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation or they died before initiation of therapy. The actuarial 1-, 2- and 5-year overall survival rates were 49%, 29% and 13%, respectively. The median survival of patients who underwent surgical resection was 28 months (3 to 85 months), whereas the median survival of patients who were either ineligible for surgery or died before initiation of treatment was only 1 month (1 to 13 months). All patients diagnosed with lung cancer by chest CT underwent surgical resection; however, only 37.5% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer by chest X-ray were found at an appropriate stage for resection (p = 0.025). Conclusions: Cardiac transplant recipients have a significant risk of developing bronchogenic carcinoma. Routine chest CT screening in high-risk patients may enable clinicians to identify disease earlier, which is essential for the option of surgical resection and, therefore, prolonged survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine