OBJECTIVES: Lobar lung transplantation is an option that provides the possibility of transplanting an urgent listed recipient of small size with a size-mismatched donor lung by surgically reducing the size of the donor lung. We report our short- and long-term results with bilateral lobar lung transplantation (BLLT) and compare it with the long-term outcomes of our cohort.
METHODS: Retrospective analyses of 75 lung transplant recipients who received downsized lungs with a special focus on 23 recipients with BLLT performed since January 2000. Postoperative surgical complications, lung function tests, late complications and survival were analyzed. The decision to perform lobar transplantation was considered during allocation and finally decided prior to implantation.
RESULTS: Cystic fibrosis was the most common indication (43.5%) followed by pulmonary fibrosis (35%). Median age at transplantation was 41 (range 13–66) years. Fifteen were females. Nineteen of the transplantations (83%) were done with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support; 3 of them were already on ECMO prior to transplantation. There was no 30-day or in-hospital mortality. No bronchial complications occurred. The most common early complication was haematothorax (39%), which required surgical intervention. The rate of postoperative atrial arrhythmias was 30%. Forced expiratory volumes in 1 s (% predicted) at 1 and 2 years were 76 ± 23 and 76 ± 22, respectively (mean ± standard deviation). By 2-year follow-up, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome was documented in 3 patients with a median follow-up of 1457 days. Overall survivals at 1 and 5 years were 82 ± 8 and 64 ± 11%, respectively and were comparable with those of 219 other recipients who received bilateral lung transplantation during the same period (log rank test, P = 0.56).
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that BLLT has short- and long-term outcomes comparable with those of standard bilateral lung transplantation. The limitation of lung transplantation due to size-mismatch, particularly in smaller recipients, could be overcome by utilizing lobar lung transplantation.