Reperfusion injury after lung transplantation remains a perplexing and unpredictable problem. Most surgeons preserve the lung inflated, but the amount of inflation that should be used is not well documented. Therefore, we studied the effect of high inflation during organ preservation on lung function during reperfusion. Our hypothesis is that donor lung hyperinflation during storage contributes to early allograft dysfunction during reperfusion. To test our hypothesis we used an isolated, blood-perfused, ventilated rabbit lung model. Group I lungs (control) underwent immediate reperfusion after harvest. Group II lungs (low-inflation, maintained at 6 mmHg airway pressure) and group III lungs (high-inflation, maintained at 20 mmHg airway pressure) were stored for 4 h in 4°C Euro-Collins solution after harvest. All lungs were then reperfused with whole blood for 1 h, and measurements of arterial oxygenation (PO 2, mmHg), pulmonary artery pressure (PAP, mmHg), peak inspiratory pressure (PIP, cm H 2O), and wet-to-dry weight ratio (WTD) were obtained. Throughout the 1 h reperfusion period group III lungs had significantly lower oxygenation compared to groups I and II. In addition, throughout reperfusion, group III lungs showed significantly higher PAP and PIP compared to group II. WTD did not differ significantly between groups, however, there was a trend toward increased edema in group III. These results indicate that high inflation during cold storage results in acute pulmonary dysfunction. Careful monitoring of airway inflation pressure during storage, especially to prevent hyperinflation, should be maintained in the current practice for lung transplantation.
- lung transplantation
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