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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2016 Aug;35(8):1031-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Successful transplantation in canines after long-term coronary sinus machine perfusion preservation of donor hearts.

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Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. Electronic address:



Machine perfusion is a promising strategy for donor heart preservation, but delivery of perfusate through the aorta may be limited by aortic valve incompetence. We hypothesized that retrograde machine perfusion preservation through the coronary sinus avoided this issue and allowed for recovery of donor hearts after long-term storage.


Canine hearts were procured after arrest with 1 liter University of Wisconsin Machine Perfusion Solution (UWMPS) and preserved for 14 hours by static hypothermic storage (Static group, n = 5) or retrograde machine perfusion through the coronary sinus (RP group, n = 5). Myocardial oxygen consumption (MVo2) and lactate were monitored in perfused hearts. Hearts were implanted and reperfused for 6 hours. The pre-load recruitable stroke work was determined as a measure of myocardial function. Cardiac enzyme release was quantified. Cell death was evaluated by TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated deoxy uridine triphosphate nick-end label).


MVo2 decreased initially then stabilized. Lactate accumulation was low in RP hearts. All RP hearts separated from cardiopulmonary bypass. All Static hearts required a return to bypass (p < .05). Pre-load recruitable stroke work in RP hearts was increased (55 ± 7 mm Hg) compared with Static (20 ± 11 mm Hg, p < .05) and did not differ from baseline values. Creatine kinase release was greater in Static group hearts (102 ± 16 IU/liter/g) than in RP hearts (51 ± 8 IU/liter/g, p < .05). The fraction of TUNEL-positive cells was higher in the Static group, but this difference was not significant.


Retrograde machine perfusion can preserve donor hearts for long intervals. Cardiac function after implantation suggested excellent myocardial protection. Retrograde machine perfusion appears promising for extending the donor ischemic interval and improving results of heart transplantation.


cardiac transplantation; coronary sinus; myocardial oxygen consumption; organ preservation/methods; perfusion preservation

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