Paediatric lung transplantation

Eur Respir J. 2004 Nov;24(5):839-45. doi: 10.1183/09031936.04.00064804.


Since 1990, lung transplantation has been performed in infants, children and adolescents in small numbers, and the numbers, in comparison with adult transplants, remain small today. The indications for lung transplantation are similar in childhood when compared with adults, but the disease entities are distinct. In children, severe pulmonary vascular disease is most commonly associated with developmental abnormalities or congenital heart disease, as opposed to idiopathic pulmonary hypertension. Cystic fibrosis is the dominant indication for lung transplantation in older childhood and adolescence. The operative approach to lung transplantation in early life differs from that in adults, in that cardiopulmonary bypass is more likely to be utilised and bilateral lung transplantation is strongly preferred to single lung transplantation. Living donor lung transplantation is proportionately more common in children and adolescents than in adults. Post-transplant complications related to viral infection and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease are more common and more likely to be severe and life-threatening. Bronchiolitis obliterans is the most important complication after paediatric lung transplantation and limits both the quality of life and duration of survival, as in adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung Transplantation* / methods
  • Lung Transplantation* / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications