Pediatric lobar lung transplantation

T J Watson, V A Starnes
Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 1996, 8 (3): 313-25
The disparity between available donors and potential recipients of lung transplants has demanded a certain degree of flexibility on the part of transplantation surgeons. Marginal donors are now being used more frequently, and downsizing lungs from larger donors to fit into small recipients is quite common. In some instances, particularly in the circumstances of children, a single lobe from a much larger donor may serve very well as an entire lung in the recipient. Although either the upper or lower lobes from either side may be used, the lower lobes, especially the left, are better suited for this purpose because of the anatomy of the arterial, venous, and bronchial systems. As an extension of this concept, living-donor lung transplantation is now an accepted practice in carefully selected patients. Most children are best treated with bilateral lobar transplantation, particularly when cystic fibrosis is the indication. For living-donor transplantation, this obviously involves engaging two willing donors able to pass a rigorous physical and psychological evaluation. Although the recipients are generally sicker than the average cadaveric lung transplant recipient, early results to date have been similar to those receiving cadaveric lungs. In this article, we will describe our experience with this procedure, including the evaluation process, the technical aspects of the donor and recipient operations, and the results in the donors and recipients.

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