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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2012 Feb;14(2):183-7. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivr079. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Does the use of extended criteria donors influence early and long-term results of lung transplantation?

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Nouvel Hôpital Civil, University Hospital, Strasbourg Cedex, France.


A best evidence topic was constructed according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was whether the presence of extended criteria donors influences the early and long-term results in patients referred for lung transplantation. Of the 30 papers found using a report search, 14 presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date, country of publication, study type, group studied, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are given. In total, we recorded 10 retrospective studies that considered all the donor criteria for comparing marginal donors (MDs) and standard donors. On the one hand, six of them showed no difference between the two groups in terms of early and long-term results. On the other hand, four studies demonstrated a negative impact of MDs on various early outcomes (mortality, primary graft dysfunction, duration of mechanical ventilation, length of stay in intensive care unit), whereas no significant negative influence on survival has ever been described when screening MD results. More precisely, when analysing the role of individual factors of marginality, as done in two of the 14 studies, a significant negative impact was observed for a low level of PaO(2) at the time of harvesting, positive bronchoscopy and smoking history. More specifically, the first two criteria have been validated by several authors, both in multicentre and cohort studies. Finally, the importance of avoiding the donation of the lung from an MD to a high-risk recipient emerged, whereas the association with single or bilateral transplants remains more controversial. Hence, current evidence suggests that there are no contraindications-given the absence of negative impact on survival-for the use of MDs for the transplant of a proposed standard receiver. However, given the low level of evidence of published studies, caution is necessary in order to avoid organ shortage, despite these encouraging results.

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