Objectives: The increasing scarcity of donor lungs, especially for small and pediatric recipients has stimulated the development of new operative techniques, which allow larger lungs to be downsized for use in smaller recipients. This approach has only recently gained widespread use-especially for highly urgent recipients-however, it is still not considered a standard procedure.
Methods: This report reviews the Vienna University experience with cadaveric split lung transplantation, lobar transplantation and by means of peripheral resection size reduced lung transplantation within the years 2001-2002. Peri-operative complications and outcome of those patients were retrospectively analysed and compared to the patients undergoing standard single or double lung transplantation during the observation period.
Results: During the observation period 98 primary lung transplantations were performed, of which 27 (27.6%) were size reduced transplantations. Size reduction was achieved by lobar transplantation (n=9), split lung transplantation (n=2) or peripheral segmental resection (n=16). There was no statistically significant difference between the size reduced and standard lung transplantation group with regard to the rate of bronchial healing problems (n=3/7; P=0.85) and the rate of post-operative bleeding (n=5/12; P=0.85). No other major thoracic surgical complications were observed. Three months survival rate was 85.2% in the size reduced group, compared to 92.9% in the standard group (P=0.13).
Conclusions: Size reduced lung transplantation, including split lung transplantation, lobar transplantation and peripheral segmental resection, is a reliable procedure providing equal results compared to standard lung transplantation.