Lobar lung transplantation as a treatment for congenital diaphragmatic hernia

J Pediatr Surg. 1994 Dec;29(12):1557-60. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(94)90215-1.


The mortality rate for infants severely affected with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) remains high despite significant advances in surgical and neonatal intensive care including delayed repair and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Because of the increasingly successful experience with single-lung transplantation in adults; this approach has been suggested as a potential treatment for CDH infants with unsalvageable pulmonary hypoplasia. The authors report on a newborn female infant who was the product of a pregnancy complicated by polyhydramnios. At birth, she was found to have a right-sided CDH and initially was treated with preoperative ECMO, followed by delayed surgical repair. Despite the CDH repair and apparent resolution of pulmonary hypertension, the infant's condition deteriorated gradually after decannulation, and escalating ventilator settings were required as well as neuromuscular paralysis and pressor support because of progressive hypoxemia and hypercarbia. A lung transplant was performed 8 days after decannulation, using the right lung obtained from a 6-week-old donor. The right middle lobe was excised because of the size discrepancy between the donor and recipient. After transplantation, the patient was found to have duodenal stenosis and gastroesophageal reflux, which required duodenoduodenostomy and fundoplication. The patient was discharged from the hospital 90 days posttransplantation, at 3 1/2 months of age. Currently she is 24 months old and doing well except for poor growth. This case shows the feasibility of single-lung transplantation for infants with CDH, and the potential use of ECMO as a temporary bridge to transplantation. Lobar lung transplantation allowed for less stringent size constraints for the donor lung.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Female
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung Transplantation*