American Society of Transplant Surgeons recommendations on best practices in donation after circulatory death organ procurement

Am J Transplant. 2023 Feb;23(2):171-179. doi: 10.1016/j.ajt.2022.10.009. Epub 2023 Jan 12.


The American Society of Transplant Surgeons supports efforts to increase the number of organs that are critically needed for patients desperately awaiting transplantation. In the United States, transplantation using organs procured from donation after circulatory death (DCD) donors has continued to increase in number. Despite these increases, substantial variability in the utilization and practices of DCD transplantation still exists. To improve DCD organ utilization, it is important to create a set of best practices for DCD recovery. The following recommendations aim to provide guidance on contemporary issues surrounding DCD organ procurement in the United States. A work group was composed of members of the American Society of Transplant Surgeon Scientific Studies Committee and the Thoracic Organ Transplantation Committee. The following topics were identified by the group either as controversial or lacking standardization: prewithdrawal preparation, definition of donor warm ischemia time, DCD surgical technique, combined thoracic and abdominal procurements, and normothermic regional perfusion. The proposed recommendations were classified on the basis of the grade of available evidence and the strength of the recommendation. This information should be valuable for transplant programs as well as for organ procurement organizations and donor hospitals as they develop robust DCD donor procurement protocols.

Keywords: clinical research/practice; donors and donation: deceased; donors and donation: donation after circulatory death (DCD); normothermic regional perfusion (NRP); organ procurement; organ procurement and allocation; solid organ transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System*
  • Death
  • Humans
  • Organ Preservation / methods
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Perfusion / methods
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*
  • United States