Background Despite the critical need for donor lungs, logistic and geographic barriers hinder lung utilization. We hypothesized that lungs donated after circulatory death subjected to 6 hours of cold preservation after ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) would have similar outcomes after transplantation as lungs transplanted immediately after EVLP, and that both would perform superiorly compared with lungs transplanted immediately after procurement. Methods Donor porcine lungs were procured after circulatory death and 15 minutes of warm ischemia. Three groups (n = 5 per group) were randomized: immediate left lung transplantation (Immediate group), EVLP for 4 hours followed by transplantation (EVLP group), or EVLP for 4 hours followed by 6 hours of cold preservation followed by transplantation (EVLP+Cold group). Lungs were reperfused for 2 hours before obtaining pulmonary vein samples for partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio calculations, airway pressures for compliance measurements, and wet/dry weight ratios. Results The partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen ratios in the EVLP and EVLP+Cold groups were significantly improved compared with those in the Immediate group (429.7 ± 51.8 and 436.7 ± 48.2 versus 117.4 ± 22.9 mm Hg, respectively). In addition, dynamic compliance was significantly improved in the EVLP and EVLP+Cold groups compared with immediate group (26.2 ± 4.2 and 27.9 ± 3.5 versus 11.1 ± 2.4 mL/cmH2O, respectively). There were no differences in oxygenation capacity or dynamic compliance between the EVLP and EVLP+Cold groups. Inflammatory cytokine levels were significantly lower in the EVLP and EVLP+Cold groups. Conclusions Lungs donated after circulatory death can be successfully transplanted as much as 6 hours after EVLP. Cold preservation of lungs after ex vivo assessment and rehabilitation may improve organ allocation, even to distant recipients, without compromising allograft function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine