Pediatric lung transplantation: Indications, techniques, and early results

Thomas L. Spray, George B. Mallory, Charles B. Canter, Charles B. Huddleston

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From July 1990 to April 1993, 36 lung transplantations in 33 patients were performed in our pediatric transplant program (0.25 to 23 years, mean age 10.3 years). Eight children had been continuously supported with a ventilator for 3 days to 4.5 years before transplantation and three were supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Indications for lung transplantation in this pediatric population included the following: cystic fibrosis (n =13), pulmonary hypertension, and associated congenital heart disease (n =10) pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect and nonconfluent pulmonary arteries (n = 3), pulmonary fibrosis (n = 6), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (n =1). Three children underwent retransplantation for acute graft failure (n = 2) or chronic rejection (n =1). Pulmonary fibrosis was related to complications of treatment of acute of myelogenous leukemia with bone marrow transplantation in two children and to bronchiolitis obliterans, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, interstitial pneumonitis, and Langerhans cell histiocytosis in four others. Thirteen children underwent lung transplantation and concomitant cardiac repair. Bilateral lung transplantation, ventricular septal defect closure and pulmonary homograft reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract to the transplanted lungs was performed in three children by means of a new technique that avoids the need for combined heart-lung transplantation. Two patients had ventricular septal defect closure and single lung transplant for Eisenmenger's syndrome, two had ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus and transplantation, three additional children underwent atrial septal defect closure and lung transplantation, and two underwent lung transplantation for congenital pulmonary vein stenosis. Eight early deaths and three late deaths occurred (actuarial 1-year survival 62 %). Lung transplantation in children has been associated with acceptable early results, although modification of the adult implantation technique has been necessary. Lung transplantation and repair of complex congenital heart defects is possible; heart-lung transplantation may only be required for patients with severe left heart dysfunction and associated pulmonary vascular disease. Bronchiolitis obliterans remains a major concern for long-term graft function in pediatric lung transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1000
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994


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