Lung retrieval from cadaver donors with nonbeating hearts: Optimal preservation solution

A. M. D'Armini, C. S. Roberts, J. J. Lemasters, T. M. Egan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We have previously studied the time course of pulmonary cell viability, ultrastructural damage, and adenine nucleotide metabolites after circulatory arrest in a rat model to investigate the feasibility of lung retrieval for transplantation from cadavers. This study was designed to investigate the effect of hypothermic flush and subsequent 4-hour storage with either modified Euro-Collins or University of Wisconsin solution on lungs retrieved 4 hours after death. Methods: Ninety-six Sprague-Dawley rate were sacrificed by intraperitoneal injection of pentobarbital. Control lungs were flushed immediately after sacrifice and stored for 4 hours. Rats in the experimental groups were sacrificed, and then their lungs were either ventilated with 100% oxygen or not ventilated for 4 hours before flushing with either Euro-Collins or University of Wisconsin solution followed by 4- hour hypothermic storage. At the end of the storage period, all right lungs were maintained at -70°C and used to determine wet-to-dry weight ratios and adenine nucleotide levels with high-pressure liquid chromatography. Left lungs were assessed for viability with trypan blue dye exclusion. The effect on viability of flushing with Carolina rinse solution after storage was also assessed. Results: The percentage of viable cells in the control group after 4-hour hypothermic storage was 74% ± 2% in Euro-Collins solution flushed lungs and 78% ± 2% in University of Wisconsin solution flushed lungs. This result was virtually identical to that of lungs retrieved after 4 hours of in situ oxygen ventilation followed by 4 hours of hypothermic storage. Nonventilated cadaver lungs had substantially less viability. Adenosine triphosphate levels were significantly higher in the control group than in the oxygen-ventilated group, which were higher still than those in the nonventilated group. Adenosine triphosphate levels were consistently higher in University of Wisconsin solution-flushed lungs compared with Euro-Collins solution-flushed lungs in all groups. Total adenine nucleotide levels had a similar pattern. Wet-to-dry ratios were significantly lower in the control group (Euro-Collins = 6.27 ± 0.46, University of Wisconsin = 4.63 ± 0.07) compared with the oxygen-ventilated (Euro-Collins = 9.80 ± 0.44, University of Wisconsin = 10.96 ± 0.60) and nonventilated (Euro-Collins = 9.44 ± 0.26, University of Wisconsin = 11.54 ± 1.16; p <0.001) groups. Conclusions: Four hours of circulatory arrest before 4 hours of hypothermic storage had no additional adverse impact on lung viability compared with lungs subjected to 4 hours of hypothermic storage alone, provided nonperfused lungs were ventilated with 100% oxygen. Adenine nucleotide levels were well maintained in oxygen-ventilated cadaver lungs, more so in University of Wisconsin solution flushed lungs compared with Euro-Collins solution-flushed lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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