3. Use of very old donors for lung transplantation: a dual-centre retrospective analysis.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2017 Dec 1;52(6):1049-1054. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezx202.

Hecker M1, Hecker A2, Kramm T3, Askevold I2, Kuhnert S1, Reichert M2, Mayer E3, Seeger W1, Padberg W2, Mayer K1.


To reduce the shortage of organs for transplantation by expanding organ selection criteria as a means to increase the pool of potential lung donors. In this study, we sought to investigate the impact of using lungs from very old donors aged >70 years on outcomes after lung transplantation.


Between January 2010 and November 2016, 96 patients with end-stage lung disease underwent lung transplantation in our centres. Lung donors were divided into 3 groups according to age (donor aged <60 years, 60-69 years and ≥70 years). We examined the effect of donor age on various short- and long-term outcome parameters.


Lungs harvested from very old donors had a lower percentage of smoking history and shorter ventilation time. Survival rates of recipients did not show significant differences between older and younger donor groups. Most of the short- and long-term outcome parameters in recipients of lungs from very old donors did not differ significantly among the 3 age groups, except for post-transplant best forced expiratory volume in 1 s and treated acute rejections, which were lower and higher, respectively, in donors aged ≥70 years.


This dual-centre analysis showed that lung transplantation from donors aged ≥70 years was not associated with worse outcomes compared with the younger donors. This study supports the idea that it might be possible to use an extraordinarily cautious selection of lungs from very old donors to increase the pool of suitable donors, given the shortage of suitable organ donors available for lung transplantation.


Age; FEV1; Lung transplantation; Old donors PMID: 28977370 DOI: 10.1093/ejcts/ezx202