A novel combination technique of cold crystalloid perfusion but not cold storage facilitates transplantation of canine hearts donated after circulatory death

Franklin Rosenfeldt, Ruchong Ou, Robert Salamonsen, Silvana Marasco, Adam Zimmet, Joshua Byrnes, Filip Cosic, Pankaj Saxena, Donald Esmore

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Background Donation after circulatory death (DCD) represents a potential new source of hearts to increase the donor pool. We showed previously that DCD hearts in Greyhound dogs could be resuscitated and preserved by continuous cold crystalloid perfusion but not by cold static storage and could demonstrate excellent contractile and metabolic function on an in vitro system. In the current study, we demonstrate that resuscitated DCD hearts are transplantable. Methods Donor Greyhound dogs (n = 12) were divided into perfusion (n = 8) and cold static storage (n = 4) groups. General anesthesia was induced and ventilation ceased for 30 minutes to achieve circulatory death. Donor cardiectomy was performed, and for 4 hours the heart was preserved by controlled reperfusion, followed by continuous cold perfusion with an oxygenated crystalloid perfusate or by static cold storage, after which orthotopic heart transplantation was performed. Recovery was assessed over 4 hours by hemodynamic monitoring. Results During cold perfusion, hearts showed continuous oxygen consumption and low lactate levels, indicating aerobic metabolism. The 8 dogs in the perfusion group were weaned off bypass, and 4 hours after bypass produced cardiac output of 4.73 ± 0.51 liters/min, left ventricular power of 7.63 ± 1.32 J/s, right ventricular power of 1.40 ± 0.43 J/s, and left ventricular fractional area shortening of 39.1% ± 5.2%, all comparable to pre-transplant values. In the cold storage group, 3 of 4 animals could not be weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass, and the fourth exhibited low-level function. Conclusions Cold crystalloid perfusion, but not cold static storage, can resuscitate and preserve the DCD donor heart in a canine model of heart transplantation, thus rendering it transplantable. Controlled reperfusion and cold crystalloid perfusion have potential for clinical application in DCD transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1364
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • crystalloid
  • DCD
  • heart
  • perfusion
  • preservation
  • transplantation

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