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In-situ topical cooling of lung grafts

Early graft function and surfactant analysis in a porcine single lung transplant model
: Kutschka, I.; Sommer, S.P.; Hohlfeld, J.M.; Warnecke, G.; Morancho, M.; Fischer, S.; Haverich, A.; Strüber, M.


European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery 24 (2003), Nr.3, S.411-419
ISSN: 1010-7940
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
lung transplantation; ischemia-reperfusion injury; surfactant function; lung

Objective: Improvement of organ preservation is essential to facilitate acceptance of marginal donor lungs for transplantation. Thus, recruiting non-heart-beating donors (NHBD) may be one reasonable strategy to augment the organ-pool especially in the field of pulmonary transplantation. Topical cooling (TC) of donor lungs could provide fast organ-protection and is an available procedure even in smaller centers. In this study transplanted lung function and surfactant activity in same lungs, which were preserved by TC, were assessed following transplantation. Methods: Twelve porcine allogeneic single lung transplants were performed. Six lungs that were flush preserved through the antegrade route served as controls. The other six lungs were preserved by TC for 30 min after induction of cardiac arrest by repeated application of cold saline (8 °C) to both pleural cavities. Lungs of both groups were stored in LPD solution for 24 h at 8 °C. After transplantation, the recipient's right bronchus and right pulmonary artery were clamped. Major endpoints included early graft function over a period of 7 h. Hemodynamic measures and respiratory functions were recorded in 30-min intervals. Surfactant function was determined before transplantation and 2 h after reperfusion by broncho-alveolar lavage fluid analysis. Results: Only four animals of the control-group survived the 7 h reperfusion period. Right heart failure occurred in two animals after 150 and 240 min of reperfusion. All six animals in the TC group survived the observation period. Pulmonary vascular resistance (p<0.01), pulmonary artery pressure (p=0.03), and lung tissue water content remained significantly lower in topically cooled allografts (p=0.01) vs. controls. Surfactant function after transplantation was comparable in both groups with a trend towards lower protein contents (p=0.07) in the broncho-alveolar fluid of grafts after TC. Conclusions: In-situ TC seems to be a reliable strategy to preserve lungs for up to 24 h. It even surpasses the results of LPD-perfused grafts in hemodynamic function and survival time.