Is “lung repair centre” a possible answer to organ shortage?— transplantation of left and right lung at two different centres after ex vivo lung perfusion evaluation and repair: case report
Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) has become a reality as a technique to evaluate and recondition lungs from marginal donors. We report the first case on the use of EVLP followed by separate transplantation in two different centres. The local organ procurement organization proposed the lungs of a 53-year-old non-smoker donor who died for cerebral haemorrhage. P/F ratio was 294 after lung recruitment manoeuvres. Oto score was 10. Two centres accepted the grafts for two single transplantations under the condition of EVLP evaluation. After usual retrieval, the bi-pulmonary block was transferred to Centre 1 and EVLP was run as previously described. At the end of the procedure the two lungs were evaluated separately and both judged suitable for transplantation. After cooling and storage on ice, the block was separated on the back table. The left lung was transplanted in a patient with pulmonary fibrosis at Centre 1; surgery was complicated by cardiac arrhythmias that required several defibrillations. The right lung was transferred on ice to Centre 2, 250 km away from Centre 1, and transplanted in a patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Thirty months after transplantations Patient 1 and Patient 2 are both alive, in good clinical conditions. This is the first report of the separate use of lungs after EVLP for non-urgent recipients in two different centres. This experience opens the door to a new allocation model with great potentials on organ shortage. Actually, we demonstrated that the perspective of a ‘lung repair centre’ is feasible and effective.