Living donor lobar lung transplantation: the pediatric experience

M S Woo, E F MacLaughlin, M V Horn, P C Wong, J M Rowland, M L Barr, V A Starnes
Pediatric Transplantation 1998, 2 (3): 185-90
Living donor (LD) lobar lung transplantation is now an accepted alternative to cadaveric lung transplantation in selected patients with end-stage lung disease. This study reviews the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles LD experience of 17 patients (mean 13.2 +/- 2.7 yrs; range 9.3-18.5 yrs). 12 LD patients had end-stage cystic fibrosis, 4 had primary pulmonary hypertension, and 1 child had bronchiolitis obliterans. LD candidates must meet the same criteria as for cadaveric lung transplant candidates. Donor candidates are rigorously screened (physically and psychologically) prior to acceptance for lobectomy. LD patients receive the same triple immunosuppression regimen as our cadaveric recipients (prednisone, cyclosporine/FK506, and azathioprine/mycophenolate). Comparison of rejection episodes, incidence of bronchiolitis obliterans, pulmonary function tests, exercise stress tests, and cardiac catheterization data was made between LD and cadaveric lung transplantation (CL) pediatric recipients. Donor outcomes were also reviewed. In our pediatric program, the 1-year survival rate for LD recipients is currently 81%, which compares favorably with the ISHLT average of 70% for pediatric transplant patients. The incidence of rejection is about the same for LD and CL recipients, but the episodes are less severe for pediatric LD patients. There have been no histological cases of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in our LD recipients. Although there have been questions as to whether transplanted lobes can supply comparable pulmonary reserve to whole cadaveric lungs, the lung volumes (TLC and VC), expiratory flow rates, maximal exercise stress tests, and pulmonary artery pressures (no evidence of pulmonary hypertension) in LD patients are not significantly different to CL recipients in our institution. Besides pain from the thoracotomy, the donors have a decrease of 16% (right lower lobe donor) and 18% (left lower lobe donor) in their vital capacity. Otherwise, there have been no major complications to the donors and most have resumed their usual activities. Based on outcomes, pulmonary function tests, exercise stress tests, and hemodynamic studies as well as low donor morbidity, living donor double lobar lung transplantation is a viable alternative to cadaveric lung transplantation in selected pediatric patients with end-stage lung disease.

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