Successful extrarenal transplantation from non-heart-beating donors

Transplantation. 1995 Apr 15;59(7):977-82. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199504150-00009.


The current organ shortage has made utilization of organs from less-than-ideal donors more common. Although several transplant centers use kidneys from non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs), there has been reluctance to extend the use of these donors to extrarenal organs. Of the 130 donors referred to our organ procurement organization between January 1993 and May 1994, 16 (12.3%) were NHBDs. Organ retrieval from 10 of these resulted in extrarenal donation, 5 resulted in renal donation only, and 1 resulted in no retrieval as a result of prolonged warm ischemia (> 2 hr). A total of 39 organs were transplanted from these NHBDs. A rapid en bloc retrieval technique was used for extrarenal NHBDs. The mean warm ischemic time was 15.4 min; preservation times were similar for both NHBDs and heart-beating donors. After liver transplantation (n = 5), one episode of primary nonfunction that was technical in origin required retransplantation. Following simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantation (n = 6), all patients were insulin independent and free of graft pancreatitis; one patient required hemodialysis (16.7%). After isolated renal transplantation (n = 21), 3 patients (14.3%) required hemodialysis. Three of 4 liver recipients are alive after a mean follow-up period of 12.7 months; all simultaneous pancreas-kidney and renal transplant recipients are alive after a mean follow-up period of 8.4 and 8.3 months, respectively. Three liver allografts, 5 pancreas and kidney allografts, and 19 renal allografts are functioning. The lung allograft was lost to rejection 81 days after transplantation; however, the recipient is alive 3 months after retransplantation. Our results demonstrate that in controlled situations, extrarenal organs can be utilized from NHBDs and can be expected to function similarly to organs retrieved from heart-beating donors. We increased the number of transplanted organs by 8.6% using NHBDs for both renal and extrarenal donation. Continued application of these techniques will likely further increase the number of organs retrieved for transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / statistics & numerical data
  • Liver Transplantation / physiology
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Lung Transplantation / physiology
  • Lung Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Pancreas Transplantation / physiology
  • Pancreas Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Treatment Outcome