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.
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