Lung transplant in people with coronary artery disease

Mayo Clinic doctors have experience treating people with coronary artery disease and other complex conditions with lung transplants or other treatment options. Doctors trained in lung and breathing conditions (pulmonologists) work closely with doctors trained in heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologists), heart and blood vessel surgery (cardiac surgeons), and other areas to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

In the past, most people with coronary artery disease weren't considered candidates for a lung transplant. However, some people with coronary artery disease may be eligible for a single-lung transplant, a double-lung transplant, a heart-lung transplant or other procedure.

To evaluate the severity of your heart condition and determine if you're eligible for a lung transplant, doctors conduct cardiac catheterization. In this procedure, doctors insert a long, thin tube (catheter) into an artery in your leg or groin and guide it to your heart using X-ray imaging. Doctors then inject a special dye through the catheter, making the arteries visible under X-ray (coronary angiography).

Depending on your condition, doctors may conduct procedures to open blocked or narrowed arteries, including coronary bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty and stents. These procedures may be performed before or during lung transplant surgery.

Doctors continue to study outcomes of people with coronary artery disease who have had lung transplants, to determine the most appropriate treatment for them.