Is lung transplantation survival better in infants? Analysis of over 80 infants

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Jan;32(1):44-9. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2012.09.027. Epub 2012 Nov 17.


Background: There have been >1,600 pediatric lung transplantations (LTx) performed worldwide with a trend toward improved outcomes over the last 25 years. The majority of these LTxs have been in older children and adolescents. Less than 4 infant (defined as ≤ 12 months of age) LTxs per year have been performed over the past 20 years, mostly in the USA. However, infant LTx outcomes have not been well documented in a multi-institutional longitudinal fashion.

Methods: The United Network of Organ Sharing database was queried from October 1987 to July 2011. Of the 1,003 pediatric LTxs reported, 84 (8%) were infants. All combined transplantations were excluded.

Results: Eighty-one infants received 84 LTxs, of which 95% had a bilateral LTx. Median age and weight at LTx was 4 months (range 0 to 11 months) and 5.3 kg (2.7 to 11.8 kg), respectively. Median ischemic time was 5.2 hours (2.0 to 10.8 hours). Overall Kaplan-Meier graft survival was similar for infants compared with other pediatric age group (OPA: >1 to 18 years) LTx recipients (half-life 4.0 years vs 3.4 years, p = 0.7). Conditional 1-year graft survival for infants was significantly higher than OPA (half-life 7.4 years vs 5.0 years, p = 0.024). Early (1987 to 2000, n = 46) and late (2001 to 2011, n = 38) era graft survival was not significantly different. Graft survival in pre-LTx ventilated infants was significantly better than pre-LTx ventilated OPA (half-life 6.1 years vs 0.9 year, p = 0.004) and was not statistically different from pre-LTx infants not on ventilatory support (half-life 6.1 years vs 2.2 years, p = 0.152). Cox regression of 5 variables (weight, donor arterial PO(2), pre-Tx ventilator, organ ischemic time, center experience) showed that survival was associated with increased center experience (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Infants undergoing LTx have outcomes similar to those of all other pediatric LTx patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies