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Lung donation after circulatory death

Ceulemans, Laurens J.a,b,c; Inci, Ilhanc; Van Raemdonck, Dirka,b

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: June 2019 - Volume 24 - Issue 3 - p 288–296
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000627
LUNG TRANSPLANTATION: Edited by Allan R. Glanville

Purpose of review The current review presents a concise update on published literature on donation after circulatory death (DCD) and lung transplantation (LTx). Worldwide an increasing need for lungs is evident, however the utilization rate of DCD lung donors is still considerably low. In this summary article, we reviewed both the experimental background and international clinical experience.

Recent findings Our analysis confirmed satisfactory results for LTx from DCD donors, which equals the results from donation after brain death. Although most studies reported on short-term results, some confirmed these results on the long-term and development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction. Our review summarizes the different DCD categories and underlines the potential of the DCD V category. We analyze the barriers to implement a DCD program, discuss the more recent advances like ex-vivo lung perfusion and describe the future challenges.

Summary Based on the current short-term and long-term clinical results, we believe that barriers for DCD utilization should be overcome, resulting in a safe implementation of more DCD LTx programs worldwide.

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aDepartment of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven

bDepartment of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism and Ageing, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

cDepartment of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Correspondence to Laurens J. Ceulemans, MD, PhD, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. Tel: +32 16346820; fax: +32 16346821; e-mail:

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