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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2005 May;27(5):757-61.

Extended donor criteria for lung transplantation--a clinical reality.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vienna Medical University, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.



Standard lung donor criteria have been established on opinions and individual experiences rather than on existing evidence. Since the scarcity of donor organs is one of the major limitations to lung transplantation, extension of donor lung criteria might considerably increase the donor pool. This study therefore evaluates the outcome, achieved with the use of extended donors versus standard donors and aims to redefine lung donor criteria.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 98 consecutive primary lung transplantations from 94 donors from 1/2001 to 12/2002. Donors were classified as extended if they fulfilled at least one criteria: age >55 years, PaO(2) at FiO(2)/PEEP 5 <300mmHg, tobacco history >20 pack years, inhalative drug abuse, presence of infiltration on chest X-ray or purulent secretions at bronchoscopy. Recipients were stratified in two groups according to whether they received a 'standard' or 'extended' organ. Postoperative complications, extubation time, ICU and hospital stay and survival were compared.


Twenty-three (24.5%) donors were extended. Twenty-six recipients (26.55%) received organs from extended donors. Differences in intubation times (12+/-2 days standard vs. 14+/-5 days extended, P=0.70), ICU stay (16+/-2 days standard vs. 18+/-5 days extended, P=0.74) and hospital stay (38+/-4 days standard vs. 40+/-6 days extended, P=0.71) were not statistically significant. Postoperative bleeding rates were comparable (n=14 standard vs. n=3 extended) as well as bronchial anastomotic complications (n=7 standard vs. n=3 extended). Three months survival was 88.89% in the standard group vs. 92.31% in the extended group. One year survival is comparable as well with 81.94 vs. 84.62%, respectively.


The use of lung donors who fail to meet standard criteria does not impair short and medium term results compared to standard lung donors. The impact on long term development of BOS has yet to be evaluated. The strict application of standard lung donor criteria excludes a considerable number of lungs potentially suitable for transplantation, thus liberalisation of donor criteria might help to overcome donor shortage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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