Low-flow hypothermic crystalloid perfusion is superior to cold storage during prolonged heart preservation

R. Ou, Y. W. Lim, J W Choong, D S Esmore, R. F. Salamonsen, C. McLean, Josephine Forbes, M. Bailey, F. L. Rosenfeldt

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Background. Preservation of donor hearts for transplantation has traditionally been performed with the use of static cold storage. We have developed and tested a novel gravitypowered system of cold crystalloid perfusion for prolonged donor heart preservation. Methods. Greyhounds were anesthetized; their hearts were arrested with cold cardioplegic solution and excised. Hearts were allocated to 12 hours of perfusion preservation (n = 6) or cold storage in ice (n = 5). Non-preserved hearts (n = 5) served as a normal reference group. Perfusion hearts were perfused (20 mL/min, 8e12-C) with a novel oxygenated nutrient-containing preservation solution. After preservation, the recovery of the hearts was assessed in a blood-perfused working heart rig over 2 hours in terms of function, blood lactate level, myocardial adenosine triphosphate, and histology. Results. After 2 hours of reperfusion, in comparison with cold storage hearts, perfused heart function curves showed superior recovery of cardiac output (P = .001), power (P = .001), and efficiency (0.046 ± 0.01 vs 0.004 ± 0.003 joules/mL O2, P = .034). Myocardial adenosine triphosphate content (mmol/mg protein) was reduced significantly from the normal level of 26.5 (15.9, 55.8) to 5.08 (0.50, 10.4) (P = .049) in cold storage hearts but not in perfused hearts. Over a period of 2 hours, lactate levels in the blood perfusate were significantly lower in the perfusion group than in the cold storage group (P < .05). Conclusions. Continuous hypothermic crystalloid perfusion provides myocardial preservation superior to cold storage for long-term heart preservation, with potential applicability to marginal and donation after circulatory death hearts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3309-3313
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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