Update on Donor Assessment, Resuscitation, and Acceptance Criteria, Including Novel Techniques—Non–Heart-Beating Donor Lung Retrieval and Ex Vivo Donor Lung Perfusion
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The shortage of adequate organ donors remains a great challenge in clinical lung transplantation. With increasing experience in the medical management and surgical technique of lung transplantation, gradual expansion of the criteria for lung donor selection has occurred with beneficial effects on the donor pool. Interest in donation after cardiac death also is increasing as the gap increases between donors and the needs of listed patients. Successful use of these new sources of lungs depends on the accurate assessment and prediction of transplanted lung function. Promising techniques for lung assessment and diagnostics include investigating key genes associated with graft failure or good graft performance using molecular approaches, and ex vivo evaluation. Further studies are needed to answer remaining questions about the best technique and solution to reperfuse human lungs for several hours without edema formation. As the predictive ability to discern good from injured donor lungs improves, strategies to repair donor lungs become increasingly important. Prolonged normothermic EVLP seems to be a platform on which many reparative strategies can be realized. With these new methods for assessing and resuscitating lungs accurately, it is hoped that inroads will be made toward providing every listed patient a chance for successful lung transplantation.
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