Early Donor Management Increases the Retrieval Rate of Lungs for Transplantation

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
The Annals of thoracic surgery (Impact Factor: 3.65). 02/2008; 85(1):278-86; discussion 286. DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2007.07.092
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lung transplantation activity is frustrated by donor lung availability. We sought to examine the effect of active donor management and hormone administration on pulmonary function and yield in cadaveric heart-beating potential lung donors.
We studied 182 potential lung donors (arterial oxygen tension [PaO2]/fractional inspired oxygen [FIO2] ratio > or = 230). From this group, 60 patients (120 lungs) were allocated, within a randomized trial, to receive methylprednisolone (1 g), triiodothyronine (0.8 microg/kg bolus and 0.113 microg/kg/h infusion), both methylprednisolone and triiodothyronine, or placebo as soon as feasible after consent and initial assessment. Trial donors underwent protocol-guided optimization of ventilation and hemodynamics, lung water assessment, and bronchoscopy. Function was assessed by PaO2/FIO2 ratio, extravascular lung water index (EVLWI), and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR). A nontrial group of 122 donors (244 lungs) received similar management without bronchoscopy, pulmonary artery flotation catheter monitoring, or lung water assessment.
Within the trial, management commenced within a median of 2 hours (interquartile range, 0.5 to 3.5 hours) of consent and continued for an average of 6.9 +/- 1.2 hours. The PaO2/FIO2 ratio deteriorated (p = 0.028) from 397 +/- 78 (95% CL, 376 to 417) to 359 +/- 126 (95% CL, 328 to 390) and EVLWI from 9.7 +/- 4.5 mL/kg (95% CL, 8.6 to 10.9 mL/kg) to 10.8 +/- 5.2 mL/kg (95% CL, 9.4 to 12.2 mL/kg; p = 0.009). PVR remained unchanged (p = 0.28). At end management, 48 of 120 trial lungs (40%) were transplanted versus 66 of 244 nontrial lungs (27%; p = 0.016). Neither methylprednisolone and triiodothyronine nor T3 increased lung yield or affected PaO2/FIO2 or EVLWI; however, methylprednisolone attenuated the increase in EVLWI (p = 0.009).
Early active management of lung donors increases yield. Steroid administration reduces progressive lung water accumulation.