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Kyoto hospital performs world's 1st incompatible blood type living donor lung transplant

An incompatible blood type living donor lung transplant is performed at Kyoto University Hospital in this photo provided by Kyoto University.

OSAKA -- Kyoto University Hospital on April 12 announced that it had successfully conducted what it says is the world's first incompatible blood type living donor lung transplant, using lung parts from both the patient's father and mother.

    The university hospital said it transplanted a lung part from a father with blood type B and another lung part from a mother with blood type O into their daughter who is in her 10s and has blood type O.

    The surgery was performed on Feb. 16, and the patient is reportedly making good progress. Until now, incompatible blood type living donor transplants have been performed for the kidney and liver, but not the lungs, as patients are more likely to experience rejection and infectious diseases compared to other organ transplants.

    According to the hospital, the patient lives in east Japan's Kanto region, and developed bronchiolitis obliterans -- a condition resulting in obstruction of small branch airways in the lungs -- after receiving treatment including bone marrow transplantation to treat her leukemia which she developed when she was young. She began to live on a ventilator from September 2021, and the hospital went ahead with the transplant after deeming that her case required urgent care.

    Because the patient required two donors for a lung transplant, she received one lung portion from her father, who has a different blood type, as well as one from her mother. Her parents are both in their 40s.

    In order to prevent the patient from experiencing rejection, she took medication and other treatments from about three weeks prior to the surgery. Though she had shown acute rejection right after the operation, her condition calmed following steroid treatment. The patient now no longer needs a ventilator and has become able to walk on her own. It was reported she was discharged on April 11.

    (Japanese original by Mai Suganuma and Hirokage Tabata, Osaka Science & Environment News Department)

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