Background. Non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs) have been proposed for the critical shortage of donors for cardiac and pulmonary transplantation. We determined the effects of prearrest hypoxia and postarrest warm ischemia on cardiac and pulmonary allografts procured from NHBDs undergoing hypoxic arrest. Methods. Rabbit hearts and lungs were procured from separate donors and placed on isolated blood perfusion circuits. Controls were excised and perfused without ischemia. Hearts from NHBDs underwent either prearrest hypoxic perfusion alone or consecutive periods of prearrest hypoxic perfusion and 20 minutes of postarrest warm ischemia. A third group of hearts underwent 30 minutes of warm, global ischemia alone. Two groups of pulmonary allografts were studied using similar hypoxic perfusion/20-minute ischemia and 30-minute ischemia donors. Results. Prearrest hypoxic perfusion clearly causes significant dysfunction of cardiac allografts from NHBDs compared with nonischemic controls. Prearrest hypoxic perfusion combined with postarrest ischemia results in an additive degree of dysfunction more severe than a similar period of warm ischemia alone. Both groups of experimental lungs displayed function similar to that of nonischemic controls in terms of pulmonary hemodynamics, airway resistance, and oxygenation potential. Conclusions. We conclude that prearrest hypoxic perfusion significantly contributes to the dysfunction of NHBD cardiac allografts. Pulmonary allografts may be more amenable to procurement of NHBDs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine