Okayama University Hospital successfully completes the first lung transplant between two people of different sizes in Japan


On April 27, Okayama University Hospital successfully completed a lung transplant between two people of different sizes—a brain-dead donor and a female patient (recipient) in her 50s suffering from a serious lung disease. This was the first lung transplant of this kind in Japan since the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare revised the organ transplant guidelines in March 2014 to allow recipients smaller than brain-dead donors to receive an organ transplant.

The female patient in her 50s was suffering from interstitial pneumonia, a complication from connective tissue disease. She had no choice but to receive a lung transplant for her survival, but she had no living relatives who were able to give her a lung. Since her lungs became too small for her frame and her interstitial pneumonia was progressing quickly, she was put on the Japan Organ Transplant Network’s waiting list on March 5, 2018. Her lung transplant operation, which was performed by Dr. Takahiro Oto, a professor at Okayama University Hospital Organ Transplant Center, started around 11am on April 27. A part of each lung from the brain-dead donor was transplanted into each of the patient’s lungs. The operation was finished in about seven and a half hours. The patient is in stable condition and is expected to leave the hospital in about three months.

Professor Oto said, “Up until now, patients have never been selected as transplant candidates unless their lungs have been almost the same size as the donors’ lungs. With the revised guidelines that allow more patients to become candidates for lung transplants, we’d like more pediatric patients and small adult patients to receive lung transplants.”

Further information
Okayama University (English page) http://www.okayama-u.ac.jp/eng/news/index_id7633.html
Okayama University (Japanese page)

The operation was performed by Dr.Oto and staff