The use of mature pulmonary lobes for pediatric lung transplantation has recently been described. Successful application of this technique could help alleviate the pediatric donor lung shortage. Whether an already mature lobe can grow by forming new alveolar units after transplantation into a developing recipient is not known. We therefore measured functional residual capacity, fixed lung volume and weight, alveolar size and air space volume percent, and total number of alveoli in mature left lower lobe porcine lung transplants 12 weeks after transplantation into growing piglets. Comparisons were made with nontransplanted mature left lower lobes to determine if functional or morphologic growth had occurred after transplantation. The transplanted and control lobes were all taken from 6-month-old animals (mean body weight 105 ± 4 kg). Recipients of the transplanted lobes were 9 weeks old and weighed 22 ± 2 kg. By the end of the 12-week holding period, the recipient animals increased their body weight approximately fourfold (85 ± 4 kg). No significant differences were seen in functional residual capacity or morphologic analysis of total alveolar number and alveolar size between the transplanted and nontransplanted lobes (p = not significant). Although the reduced-size mature porcine lobar transplants did not display a significant increase in either functional residual capacity or total alveolar number, there was significant growth of the transplanted mature lobes as determined by fixed volume and total lobar weight (p ≤ 0.05 versus control animals).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine