Short- and Long-term Outcomes After Lung Transplantation From Circulatory-Dead Donors: A Single-Center Experience

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Donation after cardiac death (DCD) to overcome the donor organ shortage is well accepted in the clinical setting, although long-term outcome after DCD lung transplantation (LTx) remains largely unknown.


In this retrospective study, DCD LTx recipients (n = 59) were compared with a cohort of donation after brain death (DBD) LTx recipients (n = 331) transplanted between February 2007 and September 2013; follow-up was until January 1, 2016. Short-term (duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit stay, hospital stay, and highest primary graft dysfunction score within 72 hours) and long-term (chronic lung allograft dysfunction-free and overall survival) follow-up were compared over a median follow-up of 50.5 (±3.7) months for DCD and 66.8 (±1.5) months for DBD.


There were no differences between groups with regard to patient characteristics: age (P = 0.78), underlying disease (P = 0.30) and type of type of LTx (P = 0.10), except sex where more males were transplanted with a DCD donor (62.7%) vs (48.3%, P = 0.048). There was no difference in time on mechanical ventilation (P = 0.59), intensive care unit stay (P = 0.74), highest primary graft dysfunction score (P = 0.67) and hospital stay (P = 0.99). Moreover, chronic lung allograft dysfunction–free (P = 0.86) and overall survival (P = 0.15) did not differ between the DBD and DCD groups.


In our experience, both short- and long-term outcomes in DCD lung recipients are comparable to that of DBD lung recipients. Therefore, DCD LTx can be considered a safe strategy that significantly increased our transplant activity.

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