Living donor lobar grafts improve pediatric lung retransplantation survival

Benjamin D Kozower, Stuart C Sweet, Maite de la Morena, Pamela Schuler, Tracey J Guthrie, G Alexander Patterson, Sanjiv K Gandhi, Charles B Huddleston
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2006, 131 (5): 1142-7

OBJECTIVE: Lung retransplantation is a controversial practice due to increased morbidity and mortality and the scarcity of available donor organs. Living donor lobar lung transplantation increases the number of available donor organs and facilitates a more organized procedure than traditional cadaveric donation for this complex reoperation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate our experience with pediatric lung retransplantation and to compare the outcomes of living donor lobar lung transplantation with cadaveric donation.

METHODS: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database identified 39 children who underwent lung retransplantation from 1991 to 2004. Retransplantation was performed with living donor lobar lung transplantation in 13 patients and cadaveric donation in 26 patients. Short- and long-term outcomes were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS: Perioperative mortality was 1/13 (7.7%) in the patients who had living donor lobar lung transplantation versus 11/26 (42.3%) in the cadaveric donation group (P = .03). Five-year survival for living donor lobar lung transplantation and cadaveric donation was 40.4% and 29.7%, respectively (P = .27). Both groups had a significant improvement in their forced expiratory volume in 1 second 6 months after retransplantation (P < .001). Multivariate analysis identified the use of cadaveric donation (relative risk = 6.16, P = .001) and early graft dysfunction (relative risk = 6.19, P = .001) as the major independent predictors of decreased survival following retransplantation.

CONCLUSIONS: Living donor lobar lung transplantation reduces perioperative mortality and is an independent predictor of improved survival following pediatric lung retransplantation. This strategy offers significant benefit for this high-risk group and preserves the limited supply of donor lungs for other children at risk of dying while waiting for lung transplantation.

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