An Extracellular Oxygen Carrier During Prolonged Pulmonary Preservation Improves Post-Transplant Lung Function

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2020 Jun;39(6):595-603. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2020.03.027. Epub 2020 Apr 10.


Background: The use of a novel extracellular oxygen carrier (EOC) preservation additive known as HEMO2Life has recently been shown to lead to a superior preservation of different types of solid organs. Our study aimed to investigate the effect of this EOC on extending lung preservation time and its mechanism of action.

Methods: Donor pigs were randomly allocated to either of the following 2 groups (n = 6 per group): (1) 36 hours cold preservation or (2) 36 hours cold preservation with 1 g/liter of EOC. The lungs were evaluated through 12 hours of normothermic ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) followed by a left-single lung transplant into a recipient pig. Grafts were reperfused for 4 hours, followed by right pulmonary artery clamping to assess graft oxygenation function.

Results: During EVLP assessment, EOC-treated lungs showed improvements in physiologic parameters, whereas the control lungs deteriorated. After a total of 48 hours of preservation (36 hours cold + 12 hours normothermic EVLP), transplanted grafts in the treatment group displayed significantly better oxygenation than in the controls (PaO2/FiO2: 437 ± 36 mm Hg vs 343 ± 27 mm Hg, p = 0.041). In addition, the use of EOC led to significantly less edema formation (wet-to-dry ratio: 4.95 ± 0.29 vs 6.05 ± 0.33, p = 0.026), less apoptotic cell death (p = 0.041), improved tight junction preservation (p = 0.002), and lower levels of circulating IL-6 within recipient plasma (p = 0.004) compared with non-use of EOC in the control group after transplantation.

Conclusion: The use of an EOC during an extended pulmonary preservation period led to significantly superior early post-transplant lung function.

Keywords: ex vivo lung perfusion; lung preservation; lung transplantation; oxygen carriers; prolonged preservation.