Background: Various techniques of orthotopic single lung transplantation in rats have been reported; however, their widespread use has been limited owing to the complexity of the procedure. We report a novel microsurgical lung transplantation model in rats with a high survival rate that can be performed by one surgeon alone. Methods: A total of 90 left lung allografts were transplanted from Fischer to Wistar Kyoto rats. We developed a triple axis precision system to place and stabilize the vascular clips intrathoracically to clamp the bronchovascular structures, thereby avoiding interference with the heart and contralateral lung movement. A single-suture bronchial anastomosis technique and proximal cuffing approach for vascular anastomosis was used, rendering surgical assistance unnecessary. Results: In our recent series, both short-term (12 h) and long-term (21 d) survival was 100%. The lungs showed excellent perfusion and ventilation immediately on transplantation. Blood gas samples drawn from the left pulmonary vein and the histologic sections revealed excellent graft function. The donor operation lasted 20 ± 2 min, donor left lung dissection required 20 ± 2 min, and implantation required 90 ± 5 min. Conclusions: The present innovative method of left orthotopic single lung transplantation can be performed by one experienced surgeon alone, with excellent results and a high degree of reproducibility. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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