Pediatric lung transplantation: promise being realized

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Lung transplantation for infants and children is an accepted but rarely exercised option for the treatment of end-stage lung disease, with outcomes equivalent to those for adults. However, widespread misconceptions regarding pediatric outcomes often confound timely and appropriate referral to specialty centers. We present the updated information for primary pediatricians to utilize when counseling families with children confronted by progressive end-stage pulmonary or cardiovascular disease.

Recent findings

We provide general guidelines to consider for referral, and discuss allocation of organs in children, information regarding standard treatment protocols, and survival outcomes.

Summary

Lung transplantation is a worthwhile treatment option to consider in children with end-stage lung disease. The treatment is complex, but lung transplant provides substantial survival benefit and markedly improved quality of life for children and their families. This timely review provides comprehensive information for pediatricians who are considering options for treatment of children with end-stage lung disease.

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