Effect of a short period of warm ischemia after cold preservation on reperfusion injury in lung allotransplantation1

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A short period of warm ischemia during lung allograft implantation is inevitable. We studied the effect of 2 h of warm ischemia before implantation after 18 h of cold preservation on reperfusion edema and pulmonary hemodynamics in a large animal model.


Left lung transplantation was performed in ten weight-matched pigs (25-31 kg). Donor lungs were flushed with 1.5 l cold (1°C) LPD solution and preserved for 20 h. In Group I (n=5) the grafts were preserved for 20 h at 1°C and topically cooled with ice slush during implantation until reperfusion. In Group II (n=5) lungs were stored at 1°C for 18 h followed by 2 h preservation at room temperature (20°C). Topical cooling was not used during implantation. At 1 h after reperfusion the recipient contralateral right pulmonary artery and bronchus were ligated to assess graft function only. Extravascular lung water index (EVLWI), intrathoracic blood volume (ITBV), mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) and cardiac output (CO) were assessed during a 4 h observation period. Quantitative myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) levels as an indicator for lipid peroxidation were determined in allograft tissue samples taken 5 h after reperfusion.


In Group II a tendency to improved pulmonary vascular resistance and cardiac output was noted. Surprisingly, lung edema, assessed by EVLWI, did not increase in animals with warm ischemia. Even a tendency to a reduced EVLWI was noted. However, differences between groups did not reach statistical significance. Gas exchange did not differ statistically significant between groups.


Our results indicate that a short period of warm ischemia before reperfusion does not lead to increased pulmonary edema. In animals with a short period of warm ischemia before reperfusion, even a tendency to reduced posttransplant lung reperfusion injury was noted. In this model, topical graft cooling during lung implantation did not improve posttransplant graft function.

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