European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery vol:30 issue:4 pages:628-36
OBJECTIVE: The use of non-heart-beating donors (NHBD) has been advocated as an alternative to overcome the critical organ shortage in lung transplantation despite the warm ischemic period that may result in primary graft dysfunction. On the contrary, brain death in the heart-beating donor (HBD) may be an underestimated risk factor for donor lung injury. We postulated that 60 min of warm ischemia in the NHBD is less detrimental to the lung than the pathophysiological changes after brain death in the HBD. In this study we compared the quality of lungs from HBD versus NHBD in an isolated reperfusion model. METHODS: Pigs (n=10 per group) were divided into three groups. In group I (HBD), brain death was induced by acute inflation of an intracranial epidural balloon catheter. In group II (CONTROL), the balloon was not inflated. In group III (NHBD), cardiac arrest was induced by myocardial fibrillation. After 5 h of in situ mechanical ventilation, lungs in HBD and CONTROL were preserved with a cold antegrade flush. In NHBD, unflushed grafts were explanted after 1 h of warm ischemia and 4 h of topical cooling in the cadaver. Graft performance was evaluated during 1 h in an isolated ventilation and reperfusion model. Extravascular lung water content (EVLW) was calculated. All data are reported as mean+/-SEM. RESULTS: A significant autonomic storm was observed in HBD following balloon inflation. During ex vivo assessment, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) at 60 min in HBD (2634+/-371 dynes cm(-5)) was significantly higher as compared with that of CONTROL and NHBD (1894+/-137 dynes s cm(-5) and 1268+/-111 dynes s cm(-5), respectively; p<0.05). Plateau airway pressure (Plateau AwP) was also higher in HBD (17+/-1cmH2O) compared with that of CONTROL (12+/-1 cmH2O; p<0.05) and NHBD (14+/-1 cmH2O; not significant). No significant differences were observed between HBD, CONTROL and NHBD in EVLW (79+/-1%, 79+/-0% and 78+/-1%, respectively), and in PO2/FiO2 (564+/-58 mmHg, 622+/-14 mmHg and 578+/-26 mmHg, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that 1-h warm ischemic lungs in our model are less susceptible to ischemia-reperfusion injury than lungs retrieved 5 h after brain death. This study further supports the use of lungs from NHBD for pulmonary transplantation.