Chronic lung allograft dysfunction continues to be the main contributor to poor long-term allograft survival after lung transplantation. The restrictive phenotype of chronic lung allograft dysfunction carries a particularly poor prognosis. Little is known about the pathogenetic mechanisms involved in restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction. In this study, we performed histomorphological and immunohistochemical analysis of restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction lungs. Explant lung tissue from 21 restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction patients was collected and histopathologic patterns of rejection, fibrosis and vascular changes were scored after routine histochemical stains and additional immunohistochemistry for endothelial markers and C4d. In all, 75% of cases showed evidence of acute cellular rejection; lymphocytic bronchiolitis was absent in most lungs, whereas in 55% there was obliterative bronchiolitis. Almost half of the cases showed a pattern consistent with pleuroparenchymal fibro-elastosis (n=10), and a subset showed nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (n=5) or irregular emphysema (n=5). Fibrinous alveolar exudates were frequently seen in association with fibrosis (n=6), but no diffuse alveolar damage was found. Evidence of microvascular damage was present in most cases. An emphysematous pattern of fibrosis was associated with a better survival (P=0.0030), whereas fibrinous exudates were associated with a worse survival (P=0.0007). In addition to the previously described nonspecific interstitial pneumonia and pleuroparenchymal fibro-elastosis patterns in restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction, we are the first to describe a pattern of fibrosis-induced subpleural/paraseptal emphysema. This pattern confers a better survival, whereas fibrinous exudates are associated with a worse survival. We believe that our findings offer a pathogenetic theory for pleuroparenchymal fibro-elastosis in restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction, and show that restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction is an increasingly heterogeneous disease with presumably different mechanisms of subpattern formation.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/modpathol.2017.180, hdl.handle.net/1765/106362
Journal Modern Pathology
Citation
von der Thusen, J, Vandermeulen, E. (Elly), Vos, R. (Robin), Weynand, B. (Birgit), Verbeken, E.K, & Verleden, S.E. (2018). The histomorphological spectrum of restrictive chronic lung allograft dysfunction and implications for prognosis. Modern Pathology, 31(5), 780–790. doi:10.1038/modpathol.2017.180