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Lung Center

Conditions Treated by a Lung Transplant

Temple’s Lung Transplant Program evaluates patients with advanced lung disease and provides lung transplants for those who no longer respond to other therapies and who meet certain criteria.

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A lung transplant can treat a variety of conditions, including:

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

Interstitial lung disease is a term used to describe diseases that involve scarring or inflammation surrounding the air sacs of the lungs. Over time, these changes cause the lungs to stiffen making it harder and harder to breathe.

Find out more about Temple’s approach to ILD treatment >

Pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a type of interstitial lung disease that causes permanent scarring to the lungs. It is linked to a number of risk factors including smoking, exposure to dust and air pollution, and long-standing GERD. Although there is no cure for this disease, lung transplant can help ease symptoms, improve quality of life and slow the progression of the disease.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common type of pulmonary fibrosis. The term “idiopathic” means that the cause is unknown. As with pulmonary fibrosis, there is no cure, but medications and other therapies such as oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms.

Learn about IPF symptoms and how it’s diagnosed >


Sarcoidosis is a type of interstitial lung disease that causes immune cells, called granulomas, to collect and cluster together. These granulomas may form in the lungs or in other areas of the body. While the cause is unknown, experts believe it could be due to an overactive immune system response. This may be triggered by a virus, infection, chemical exposure or other substance.

Discover why lung transplant is sometimes used to treat sarcoidosis >

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a type of inflammatory lung disease most often caused by smoking or long-term exposure to irritants such as chemicals or air pollution. Two types of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When COPD becomes very severe, you may have difficulty catching your breath, even when you’re at rest. A lung transplant may be an option for life-threatening COPD.

Take a look at the stages of COPD >

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Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. There are a number of different types of pulmonary hypertension that may be caused by different conditions, including COPD, interstitial lung disease, connective tissue diseases, congenital heart disease and heart valve disease. Treatment is focused on the underlying cause and lung transplant may be an option for severe cases when other treatments have failed.

Read about Temple’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program >

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Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung condition that causes your airways to become blocked with mucus. Over time, the walls of your airways thicken. This condition can be caused by lung infections, or conditions such as cystic fibrosis, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency or COPD.

Explore bronchiectasis treatment options >

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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD)

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic condition where the liver does not produce enough alpha-1 antitrypsin, a protein that helps protect the lungs from abnormal immune system activity. This can lead to lung conditions such as emphysema (a type of COPD), making it increasingly difficult to breathe.

Find out more about the link between AATD and emphysema >

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COVID-19 is a virus caused by the SARS-CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Most people who contract this disease have mild symptoms. However, some people can become severely ill and may have irreversible scarring on their lungs.

Explore COVID-19 treatment options >

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Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis is a condition that causes growths in the lungs and surrounding tissues. It occurs primarily in women, especially between the ages of 20 to 40 years. LAM progresses over the course of many years, causing significant shortness of breath and decreased lung capacity. The condition eventually leads to respiratory failure. For those with advanced disease, a lung transplant may help slow the progression and increase quality of life.

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Severe Lung Injuries

Sudden injuries to the lungs can be life-threatening and result in permanent damage to your lungs. The most severe form of lung injury is acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. Although the cause cannot always be determined, acute respiratory distress syndrome may be the result of pneumonia, sepsis, inhaling harmful substances, drug toxicity or blunt trauma to an area near the lung. In some cases, when the damage progresses quickly, lung transplant may be necessary after an unplanned injury occurs.

Learn more about acute respiratory distress syndrome treatments offered at Temple >

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Conditions Not Treated by Lung Transplant

Lung transplant can be a life-saving treatment for many serious lung conditions, but there are a number of lung conditions that cannot be treated by lung transplant. These include, among others:

  • Lung cancer
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis (TB)

Request an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) to see a pulmonologist today.