Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery vol:16 issue:4 pages:309-21
The widespread application of lung transplantation is limited by the shortage of suitable donor organs resulting in longer waiting times for listed patients with a substantial risk of dying before transplantation. To overcome this critical organ shortage, some transplant programs have now begun to explore the use of lungs from circulation-arrested donors, so called non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs). This review outlines the different categories of NHBDs, the relevant published experimental data that support the use of lungs coming from these donors and the clinical experience worldwide so far. Techniques for NHBD lung preservation and pretransplant functional assessment are reviewed. Ethical issues involved in transplanting lungs from asystolic donors are discussed.