29 Jul 2014

Twelve-hour reanimation of a human heart following donation after circulatory death

Prof Frank Rosenfeldt
with the prototype rig
Despite increasing use of donation after cardiac death (DCD) and encouraging results for non-cardiac transplants, DCD cardiac transplantation has not been widely adopted for two reasons. The DCD heart sustains warm ischaemic injury during the death process and conventional static cold storage significantly adds to the ischaemic injury. Alfred-Monash researchers have developed a simple system for perfusion of the DCD heart with cold crystalloid solution using gravity-feed that can reduce ischaemic injury and potentially render the heart suitable for transplantation.
Their report describes the first application of this technique to a human DCD heart with good functional metabolic recovery over 12 hours on an ex vivo rig.
Article reference:
Rosenfeldt F, Ou R, Woodard J, Esmore D, Marasco S. Twelve-hour reanimation of a human heart following donation after circulatory death. Heart, Lung and Circulation (2014), 23(1): 88–90
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