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Current preservation technology and future prospects of thoracic organs. Part 2: heart

Jacobs, Stevena,b; Rega, Filipa,b; Meyns, Barta,b

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: April 2010 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p 156–159
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e328337343f
Organ preservation and procurement: Edited By Jacques Pirenne

Purpose of review The problem of organ shortage continuously emphasizes the importance of proper donor management and selection, organ preservation and recipient selection and treatment. This review summarizes state of the art of cardiac allograft preservation with special regard to recent clinical and experimental findings.

Recent findings Over the past years no major strategy changes have found their way to the clinical setting of cardiac allograft preservation. Static, antegrade, cold, crystalloid flush perfusion is still the commonly used technique to preserve the heart. The importance of electrolyte composition, substrates and ischemia/reperfusion injury inhibiting additives are discussed with special attention to recent findings. Machine perfusion during preservation has regained attention over recent years and has led to the first clinical safety and feasibility trials in Europe and the USA.

Summary No major changes were introduced in the technique of heart preservation over the past years. Many new ideas based upon experimental data were postulated but still have to find their way to the clinical setting.

There is a renewed interest in mechanical perfusion. Everyone is curiously awaiting the first clinical reports.

aDepartment of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium

bDivision for Experimental Cardiac Surgery, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Correspondence to Professor Dr Filip Rega, Department of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium Tel: +32 16 34 08 43; fax: +32 16 34 46 16; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.