Donor management and lung preservation for lung transplantation

Lancet Respir Med. 2013 Jun;1(4):318-28. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(12)70064-4. Epub 2013 Feb 20.


Although lung transplantation has become a life-saving option for patients with end-stage lung disease, this intervention is hampered by a shortage of lungs in view of the growing number of people on the waiting list. Lungs are retrieved from only a small percentage of multiorgan donors, and the transplantation and intensive-care communities have recognised the need to develop innovative methods to expand the donor pool. Advancements in lung-preservation techniques in the preretrieval and postretrieval periods have increased the pool of available donors, and novel research and discoveries in this area have steadily improved post-transplantation adverse events. This Review summarises current best practice and the latest research on intensive-care management of a potential lung donor. We also discuss lung-preservation techniques, including advancements in normothermic ex-vivo lung perfusion, and the potential for a personalised medicine approach to the organ.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation / methods*
  • Organ Preservation / methods*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Waiting Lists*