OBJECTIVES: We report our experience of lobar lung transplantations (LLTs) in patients with small thoracic volume. METHODS: Since 1988, 50 LLTs were done for cystic fibrosis (n=35), fibrosis (n=7), bronchiectasis (n=3), emphysema (n=3) and lymphangiomyomatosis (n=2). There were 44 females and 6 males (mean age 31+/-13 years, mean size 155+/-5.5 cm and mean predicted total lung capacity (TLC) 4463+/-598 ml). Mean ratio between donor and recipient-predicted TLC was 1.65+/-0.26. Six patients were listed in high emergency, 2 of them on ECMO as a bridge to transplantation. Forty middle/lower right lobe with left lower LLT, four bilateral lower LLT and six split left lung LLT were performed through a clamshell incision (n=12) or a bilateral antero-lateral thoracotomy (n=38), with epidural analgesia in 17 cases. Thirty-two patients were transplanted under circulatory support (CPB n=16, veno-arterial ECMO n=16). In 11 cases, the right venous anastomosis was enlarged by a pericardial cuff. Ischaemic time was 4.4+/-1.2 h for the first lobe and 6.1+/-1.3 h for the second. RESULTS: Median mechanical ventilation weaning time was 10.5 (1-136) days. Four patients were extubated in the operating room. Ten patients needed ECMO for primary graft dysfunction. In-hospital mortality was 28% related to sepsis (n=6), PGD (n=3), haemorrhage (n=2), broncho-vascular fistula (n=1), and multiorgan failure (n=2). Eight patients required endoscopic treatments for airway complications. Mean best FEV1 was 72+/-16% of the theoretical value. The actuarial 3-year and 5-year survival rates were 60 and 46%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: LLTs are a reliable solution and can be performed with satisfactory functional results and survival rates.
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