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Bridge Over Troubled Water: The ISHLT Lung Transplant Discussion Group

Tereza Martinu, MD
ISHLT Links Associate Editor and
Pulmonary Transplant Council Communications Liaison
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

Remzi Bag, MD
ISHLT Pulmonary Transplant Discussion Group Moderator
Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA, USA

"When you're weary, feeling small (in the world of lung transplantation),
When times get rough, and friends just can't be found,"

You can turn to the ISHLT Lung Transplant Discussion Group!

In 2011, with the help of Dr. David Baran, Director of Heart Failure and Transplant Research at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ, Dr. Remzi Bag, then-Medical Director of Lung Transplantation at Emory University, and Dr. Lianne Singer, Medical Director of Toronto Lung Transplant Program, created a virtual discussion group for the international lung transplant community. Members are added by invitation after contacting Dr. Bag who remains the group moderator. Since then, hundreds of emails have been exchanged with questions, thoughts, and wisdom pertaining to lung transplantation. The tone is informal with a sense of camaraderie and moral support and a common goal to share solutions and ideas in the face of the unknown, the scary, and the impossible.

Just in the last 6 months, the following topics have been discussed:

For example, the Kaposi's sarcoma story unfolded as follows. One ISHLT Lung Transplant Discussion Group member emailed the patient's story: "We have a patient who is 6 months post lung transplant for sarcoidosis who presented with respiratory failure and bilateral reticulonodular infiltrates. VATS lung biopsy is consistent with Kaposi's sarcoma. HHV-8 in blood positive at 300 DNA copies/mL and HIV is negative. Tissue stain for HHV-8 is pending. Immunosuppressives have been reduced and we have added Sirolimus." Within 2 days, about a dozen emails were shared within the group and they contained the experience from 8 centers and described the clinical course of 10 lung transplant recipients with Kaposi's sarcoma. This is on par with the entire published literature on the topic, which includes one report of 3 lung transplant recipients with KS,1 2 reports of 2 such patients,2,3 and 5 "n of 1" reports.4-8

The Lung Transplant Discussion Group has 144 members from around the world. We look forward to many more interesting topics and discussion that will delve into unfamiliar territories and push the limits of lung transplantation.

Instructions on how to join in the discussion:
All ISHLT members with an interest in lung transplantation are invited to join the ISHLT Lung Transplant Discussion Group. Subscribers will be able to tap into a worldwide community of lung transplant professionals. This group will cover everything lung transplant, and only members will be able to post and view group content, including members list. To receive an invitation to join, please send an introductory email to our discussion group moderator, Remzi Bag, at - from your professional email address with credentials (name, professional title, affiliation and full contact information). Sorry, this group is not open to industry.

Disclosure Statement: the authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


  1. Amital A, Shitrit D, Raviv Y, et al. Development of malignancy following lung transplantation. Transplantation 2006;81:547-51.
  2. Martinez S, McAdams HP, Youens KE. Kaposi sarcoma after bilateral lung transplantation. J Thorac Imaging 2008;23:50-3.
  3. Sathy SJ, Martinu T, Youens K, et al. Symptomatic pulmonary allograft Kaposi's sarcoma in two lung transplant recipients. Am J Transplant 2008;8:1951-6.
  4. Sleiman C, Mal H, Roue C, et al. Bronchial Kaposi's sarcoma after single lung transplantation. Eur Respir J 1997;10:1181-3.
  5. Sachsenberg-Studer EM, Dobrynski N, Sheldon J, et al. Human herpes-virus 8 seropositive patient with skin and graft Kaposi's sarcoma after lung transplantation. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 1999;40:308-11.
  6. Kantor R, Mayan H, Shalmon B, et al. Kaposi's sarcoma after lung transplantation in a Sephardic Jewish woman. Dermatology 2000;200:49-50.
  7. Huang PM, Chang YL, Chen JS, et al. Human herpesvirus-8 associated Kaposi's sarcoma after lung transplantation: a case report. Transplant Proc 2003;35:447-9.
  8. Anile M, Venuta F, Diso D, et al. Malignancies following lung transplantation. Transplant Proc 2007;39:1983-4.