The proinflammatory environment in potential heart and lung donors: prevalence and impact of donor management and hormonal therapy.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.78). 09/2009; 88(4):582-8. DOI: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3181b11e5d
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Brain stem death can elicit a potentially manipulable cardiotoxic proinflammatory cytokine response. We investigated the prevalence of this response, the impact of donor management with tri-iodothyronine (T3) and methylprednisolone (MP) administration, and the relationship of biomarkers to organ function and transplant suitability.
In a prospective randomized double-blinded factorially designed study of T3 and MP therapy, we measured serum levels of interleukin-1 and -6 (IL-1 and IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), C-reactive protein, and procalcitonin (PCT) levels in 79 potential heart or lung donors. Measurements were performed before and after 4 hr of algorithm-based donor management to optimize cardiorespiratory function and +/-hormone treatment. Donors were assigned to receive T3, MP, both drugs, or placebo.
Initial IL-1 was elevated in 16% donors, IL-6 in 100%, TNF-alpha in 28%, CRP in 98%, and PCT in 87%. Overall biomarker concentrations did not change between initial and later measurements and neither T3 nor MP effected any change. Both PCT (P =0.02) and TNF-alpha (P =0.044) levels were higher in donor hearts with marginal hemodynamics at initial assessment. Higher PCT levels were related to worse cardiac index and right and left ventricular ejection fractions and a PCT level more than 2 ng x mL(-1) may attenuate any improvement in cardiac index gained by donor management. No differences were observed between initially marginal and nonmarginal donor lungs. A PCT level less than or equal to 2 ng x mL(-1) but not other biomarkers predicted transplant suitability following management.
There is high prevalence of a proinflammatory environment in the organ donor that is not affected by tri-iodothyronine or MP therapy. High PCT and TNF-alpha levels are associated with donor heart dysfunction.

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