Lung transplantation in children

Charles B. Huddleston, Jeffrey B. Bloch, Stuart C. Sweet, Maite De La Morena, G. Alexander Patterson, Eric N. Mendeloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objective: To report the authors' experience with pediatric lung transplantation (LTX) to provide an overview of patients selected for this procedure and their outcomes. Summary: Background Data Pediatric LTX differs from adults in many ways, including recipient size, indications, posttransplant care, and rehabilitation. Methods: Two hundred seven isolated lung transplants on 190 children under the age of 18 years were performed from 1990 to the present. This represents the single largest series of lung transplants in children in the world. Thirty-two patients were less than 1 year of age, 22 were 1 to 5 years of age, 32 were 5 to 10 years of age, and 121 were 10 to 18 years old. The groups by major diagnostic category were cystic fibrosis (n = 89), pulmonary vascular disease (n = 44), bronchiolitis obliterans (n = 21), pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (n = 12), pulmonary fibrosis (n = 15), and other (n = 26). The average age at the time of transplant was 9.5 ± 5.9 years (range 36 days to 18 years). Results: Survival by Kaplan-Meier analysis was 77% at 1 year, 62% at 3 years, and 55% at 5 years. There was no significant difference in survival according to primary diagnosis leading to LTX or age at LTX. There were 25 early (<60 days) and 61 late deaths. The most common cause of early deaths was graft failure (13/25, 52%). The most common causes of late death were bronchiolitis obliterans (35/61, 57%), infection (13/61, 21%), and posttransplant malignancies (11/61, 18%). No patient died of acute rejection. In those surviving greater than 3 months (mean follow-up 3.5 years, range 3 months to 11 years), the overall rate of occurrence of bronchiolitis obliterans was 46% (80/175) and the overall incidence of posttransplant malignancies was 24/175 (14%). Major risk factors for the development of bronchiolitis obliterans were age older than 3 years, more than two episodes of acute rejection, and organ ischemic time longer than 180 minutes. Conclusions: In children, LTX is a high-risk but viable treatment for endstage pulmonary parenchymal and vascular disease. The major hurdle to overcome in long-term survival is bronchiolitis obliterans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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