Background: The scarcity of grafts for lung transplant and the growing number of candidates expecting an organ has led to an increase of deaths in patients waiting for lung transplantation. Non-heart-beating donors (NHBD) represent a promising source of grafts for those who are involved in clinical lung transplantation. We present the results of our series of 17 out-of-hospital NHBD lung transplantations performed since 2002.
Methods: We have collected data from 17 donors and recipients involved in NHBD lung transplants since 2002, as well as data referring to the type of procedure and peri-operative events. We describe the incidence of post-operative complications with special attention to primary graft disfunction (PGD), bronchial healing, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), and survival. We used Kaplan-Meier method to obtain the survival curve.
Results: G2-G3 PGD was reported in 9 patients (53%), with a complete restoration of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio in 170 hours for G2 and 168 hours for G3. There were no deaths directly related to PGD. Acute rejection was detected in 7 patients (41%), 4 of which exceeded grade 1. The incidence of BOS after transplantation was 1 (7%) of 14 patients during the first year, 2 (11%) of 9 in the second year, and 2 (50%) of 4 in the third year. Hospital mortality rate was 17%. The survival rates were 82% at 3 months, 69%, at 1 year, and 58% at 3 years.
Conclusions: Mid-term results confirm the adequacy of uncontrolled NHBD as a promising complementary source of lung donors for clinical transplant.