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Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Oct;27(5):552-60.

Special considerations in pediatric lung transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


More than 1300 lung or heart-lung transplants have been performed in children to date, resulting in many years of improved quality of life. Increasing experience has demonstrated that this therapy is unique and differs from adult lung transplantation in terms of indications, complications, pharmacokinetics, and monitoring. Unlike adult lung transplant recipients, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary vascular disease are very common indications. Complications such as graft dysfunction and bronchiolitis obliterans occur similarly in children as in adults, but others such as posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders, growth retardation, respiratory tract infections, and medical nonadherence appear to be more common in pediatric lung transplant recipients. In addition, infants and adolescents are two very distinct populations that require special attention. Although the new lung allocation system grants some preference to children, donor shortage remains a limiting factor. Living donor lobar transplantation is an alternative for select candidates. Survival rates are similar between adult and pediatric transplant recipients. Support for collaborative studies is critical if we are to improve long-term outcomes for our young patients.

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