Erdheim-Chester patient gets lungs


In a world first, Okayama University Hospital said Friday it has successfully transplanted the lungs of a brain-dead donor to a man with Erdheim-Chester disease, a rare condition that causes breathing difficulties.

Takahiro Oto, an associate professor of respiratory surgery at the hospital, conducted the operation on a patient in his 50s.

The patient was in stable condition after the procedure, Oto said.

Oto said that Erdheim-Chesterthe disease develops in the lungs, the walls of the alveoli become inflamed and grow thicker and harder, eventually making it hard for the patient to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.

The patient had repeatedly developed pneumothorax and suffered breathing difficulties, Oto said.

The donor was a man in his 30s with cerebral hypoxia who was declared brain dead Wednesday at a hospital in Hokkaido.

On Thursday, the Japan Organ Transplant Network, the nation’s only entity certified as an intermediary for organ transplants, said that in addition to the lung transplants, the donor’s heart will be transplanted to a man in his 60s and his liver to a man in his 20s at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

One of his kidneys will go to a man in his 40s at Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, and the other kidney to a man in his 40s at Sapporo City General Hospital.