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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2001 May;20(5):491-6.

Bronchiolitis obliterans is not the primary cause of death in pediatric living donor lobar lung transplant recipients.

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Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, California 90027, USA.



Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is the chief cause of mortality in cadaveric lung transplant patients (CL). But, is OB the primary cause of mortality for living donor lobar recipients? To answer this question, we reviewed the causes of mortality in our pediatric patients who underwent living donor lobar lung transplantation (LD) and compared them with our pediatric patients who received whole cadaveric lungs (CL).


Data collected included demographics, transplant type, hospital days, immunosuppression regimen, and cause of death. Statistical analysis was done using Fisher's Exact test and Student's t-test (mean +/- SD).


From May 1993 to December 1999, 53 patients underwent lung transplantation (21 males, 32 females; mean age 12.4 +/- 5.4 years). Twenty-nine patients had LD procedures (12 males, 17 females; mean age 14.4 +/- 3.6 years) and 24 patients had CL surgery (9 males, 15 females; p = .78 [not significant]; mean age 9.8 +/- 6.3 years; p =.001). All patients received triple immunosuppression without induction. During the study period, 9 LD (6 males, 3 females; mean age 15.7 +/- 5.0 years) and 14 CL (3 males, 11 females; mean age 11.3 +/- 6.9 years) patients died. There was no significant difference between patients in the LD and CL groups who died with regard to gender (p = .08), age at the time of death (p = .12), mortality rate (p = .06), number of hospital days (p = .09), immunosuppressive medications (p > .08), incidence of non-specific graft failure (p = .26), or incidence of infection (p = .18). However, there was a significant difference in the incidence of OB between LD and CL recipients (p = .002).


OB was not found to be the chief cause of mortality in pediatric LD recipients. We speculate that prevention of infections, possibly by a modest reduction in immunosuppressive therapy and aggressive antimicrobial therapy, may improve long-term survival in pediatric living donor lobar lung transplant recipients.

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