• Science

Lung transplant with 2 blood types succeeds

KYOTO (Jiji Press) — Kyoto University Hospital said that it succeeded in a live lung transplant involving two different blood types for the first time in the world.

A girl aged between 10 and 19 received a section of the lungs of her father with a blood type different from her own, the hospital in Kyoto said Tuesday. The recipient is in stable condition and has already left the hospital.

She developed obstructive bronchitis following bone marrow transplants for treating leukemia in her early childhood. She received the latest operation after becoming placed on an artificial respirator last September. As her physical constitution required two donors, parts of the lungs of her father and mother were transplanted in February this year.

Medication for preventing rejection was administered because the girl and her mother have the same blood type of O while her father’s blood type is B.

Following steroid therapy, she recovered from a rejection response that followed the surgery. She no longer needs the respirator, and she can walk by herself, according to the hospital.

Transplants from living donors with different blood types from those of recipients are common with the liver and kidney. But lung transplants tend to cause rejection reactions more frequently. As a result, patients need to wait for lungs from a brain-dead donor with the same blood type.

“This treatment may save the lives of patients without two donors with a compatible blood type,” said Prof. Hiroshi Date, who conducted the operation.