International Perfusion Association


Donor Heart Preservation: Current Knowledge and the New Era of Machine Perfusion

Heart transplantation remains the conventional treatment in end-stage heart failure, with static cold storage (SCS) being the standard technique used for donor preservation. Nevertheless, prolonged cold ischemic storage is associated with the increased risk of early graft dysfunction attributed to residual ischemia, reperfusion, and rewarming damage. In addition, the demand for the use of marginal grafts requires the development of new methods for organ preservation and repair. In this review, we focus on current knowledge and novel methods of donor preservation in heart transplantation. Hypothermic or normothermic machine perfusion may be a promising novel method of donor preservation based on the administration of cardioprotective agents. Machine perfusion seems to be comparable to cold cardioplegia regarding donor preservation and allows potential repair treatments to be employed and the assessment of graft function before implantation. It is also a promising platform for using marginal organs and increasing donor pool. New pharmacological cardiac repair treatments, as well as cardioprotective interventions have emerged and could allow for the optimization of this modality, making it more practical and cost-effective for the real world of transplantation. Recently, the use of triiodothyronine during normothermic perfusion has shown a favorable profile on cardiac function and microvascular dysfunction, likely by suppressing pro-apoptotic signaling and increasing the expression of cardioprotective molecules.

Keywords: Organ Care System; cardioplegia; heart transplantation; hypothermic machine perfusion; kinases; normothermic machine perfusion; static cold storage; thyroid hormone.

Latest Posts