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    Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion May Increase Use of Available Lungs

    Procedure allows for evaluation of potentially damaged lungs for transplant purposes

    THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Use of normothermic ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP), which allows for assessment of a donor lung's function, could render suitable for transplantation lungs that otherwise would not have been considered, according to research published in the April 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Marcelo Cypel, M.D., of the University of Toronto, and colleagues subjected lungs from 23 donors to four hours of EVLP to examine the feasibility of transplanting high-risk lungs that have undergone that procedure. All 23 lungs were considered high-risk. One hundred sixteen lungs transplanted during the same period without EVLP were used as controls.

    The researchers found that, in 20 of the 23 EVLP lungs, physiological function remained stable; the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen ratio increased from 335 mm Hg to 443 mm Hg after four hours of perfusion. Primary graft dysfunction occurred in 15 percent of the EVLP group and 30 percent of the control group (P = 0.11). There were no serious adverse events directly attributable to EVLP.

    "Transplantation of high-risk donor lungs that were physiologically stable during four hours of ex vivo perfusion led to results similar to those obtained with conventionally selected lungs," the authors write.

    The study was funded by Vitrolife; several authors disclosed financial relationships with Vitrolife.

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