The influence of retransplantation on survival for pediatric lung transplant recipients

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ObjectivesWe reviewed our 25-year experience in pediatric lung transplantation with the aim to identify trends and influencing factors over time.MethodsWe reviewed our prospectively maintained database and analyzed all patients younger than age 18 years who underwent primary lung transplantation at Medical University of Vienna between 1990 and 2015.ResultsEighty-six consecutive patients were enrolled with a mean age of 12.9 ± 4.1 years at primary transplantation. The most frequent indication for primary transplantation was cystic fibrosis (64.0). Bilateral double-lung transplantation was performed in 84 patients (97.7%), including lobar transplantation in 35 patients (40.7%). sixty-eight patients (79.1%) underwent transplant on venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and 7 patients (8.1%) utilized cardiopulmonary bypass. The 30-day and in-hospital mortality was 8.1% and 17.4%, respectively, and 1-, 5-, and 10-year overall survival (OS) was 79.0%, 67.5%, and 57.1%, respectively. A significant improvement of OS was observed during the second treatment period after 2003 with a 1-, 5-, and 10-year OS of 86.0%, 73.9%, and 73.9%, respectively (P < .01). Seventeen retransplantations were performed in 14 patients. Twelve patients (85.7%) underwent 15 late elective retransplantations for chronic lung allograft dysfunction resulting in a 1- and 5-year OS of 91.7% and 80.2%, respectively. In contrast, 2 patients (14.3%) who underwent acute retransplantation for primary graft failure died during the postoperative period.ConclusionsOur outcomes for pediatric lung transplantation have improved over the past 25 years and have become comparable to those for adult transplantation. Elective re-transplantations for pediatric patients were performed successfully, and strongly influenced improved long-term OS.

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