3. Ex vivo rehabilitation of non-heart-beating donor lungs in preclinical porcine model: delayed perfusion results in superior lung function

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Nov;144(5):1208-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.07.056. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
Mulloy DP1, Stone ML, Crosby IK, Lapar DJ, Sharma AK, Webb DV, Lau CL, Laubach VE, Kron IL.


Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a promising modality for the evaluation and treatment of marginal donor lungs. The optimal timing of EVLP initiation and the potential for rehabilitation of donor lungs with extended warm ischemic times is unknown. The present study compared the efficacy of different treatment strategies for uncontrolled non-heart-beating donor lungs.


Mature swine underwent hypoxic arrest, followed by 60 minutes of no-touch warm ischemia. The lungs were harvested and flushed with 4°C Perfadex. Three groups (n = 5/group) were stratified according to the preservation method: cold static preservation (CSP; 4 hours of 4°C storage), immediate EVLP (I-EVLP: 4 hours EVLP at 37°C), and delayed EVLP (D-EVLP; 4 hours of CSP followed by 4 hours of EVLP). The EVLP groups were perfused with Steen solution supplemented with heparin, methylprednisolone, cefazolin, and an adenosine 2A receptor agonist. The lungs then underwent allotransplantation and 4 hours of recipient reperfusion before allograft assessment for resultant ischemia-reperfusion injury.


The donor blood oxygenation (partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio) before death was not different between the groups. The oxygenation after transplantation was significantly greater in the D-EVLP group than in the I-EVLP or CSP groups. The mean airway pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, and expression of interleukin-8, interleukin-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α were all significantly reduced in the D-EVLP group. Post-transplant oxygenation exceeded the acceptable clinical levels only in the D-EVLP group.


Uncontrolled non-heart-beating donor lungs with extended warm ischemia can be reconditioned for successful transplantation. The combination of CSP and EVLP in the D-EVLP group was necessary to obtain optimal post-transplant function. This finding, if confirmed clinically, will allow expanded use of nonheart-beating donor lungs.

Copyright © 2012 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved. Comment in: Discussion.[J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012] PMID: 22944084 PMCID: PMC3477251 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.07.056 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]