A 49 year old previously healthy smoker was diagnosed with a giant bulla in his right lung, following a history of dry cough, repeated upper airway infections and increasing dyspnea for several years. Computed tomography (CT) confirmed the presence of a giant bulla in the right inferior lobe and several smaller bullae in the right superior lobe. The giant bulla was 17 cm in diameter, occupying more than half of the right hemithorax. On spirometry a moderate restrictive and a mild obstructive pattern was observed. Lung volume was measured with two different techniques, nitrogen washout and plethysmography, with volume of the bullae estimated at 2.9 L, similar to the 3.2 L determined by CT. The patient underwent thoracotomy, where the giant bulla together with the inferior lobe were removed with lobectomy and the small bullae in the superior lobe with wedge resection. Five months postoperatively the patient is in good health and is back at work. Postoperatively significant improvements in spirometry values and lung volume measurements have been documented. This case demonstrates that giant bullae can be successfully managed with surgical resection and their size can be determined by different techniques, including lung volume measurements and chest CT.
Ex vivo lung perfusion has the potential to increase the number of patients treated with lung transplantation. Our initial clinical experience with ex vivo lung perfusion is reviewed as well as early clinical outcome in patients transplanted with reconditioned lungs.
Six pairs of donor lungs deemed unsuitable for transplantation underwent ex vivo lung perfusion with Steen solution mixed with red blood cells to a hematocrit of 10% to 15%. After reconditioning, lung function was evaluated and acceptable lungs were transplanted. Technical experience with ex vivo lung perfusion as well as clinical outcome for patients transplanted with ex vivo lung perfusion-treated lungs were evaluated.
Donor lungs initially rejected either as a result of an inferior partial pressure of arterial oxygen/ fraction of inspired oxygen (n = 5; mean, 20.5 kPa; range, 9.1-29.9 kPa) or infiltrate on chest radiograph (n = 1) improved their oxygenation capacity to a mean partial pressure of arterial oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen of 57 ± 10 kPa during the ex vivo lung perfusion (mean improvement, 33.6 kPa; range, 21-51 kPa; P