Article Abstract

Lung donor selection criteria

Authors: John Chaney, Yoshikazu Suzuki, Edward Cantu III, Victor van Berkel


The criteria that define acceptable physiologic and social parameters for lung donation have remained constant since their empiric determination in the 1980s. These criteria include a donor age between 25-40, a arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2)/FiO2 ratio greater than 350, no smoking history, a clear chest X-ray, clean bronchoscopy, and a minimal ischemic time. Due to the paucity of organ donors, and the increasing number of patients requiring lung transplant, finding a donor that meets all of these criteria is quite rare. As such, many transplants have been performed where the donor does not meet these stringent criteria. Over the last decade, numerous reports have been published examining the effects of individual acceptance criteria on lung transplant survival and graft function. These studies suggest that there is little impact of the historical criteria on either short or long term outcomes. For age, donors should be within 18 to 64 years old. Gender may relay benefit to all female recipients especially in male to female transplants, although results are mixed in these studies. Race matched donor/recipients have improved outcomes and African American donors convey worse prognosis. Smoking donors may decrease recipient survival post transplant, but provide a life saving opportunity for recipients that may otherwise remain on the transplant waiting list. No specific gram stain or bronchoscopic findings are reflected in recipient outcomes. Chest radiographs are a poor indicator of lung donor function and should not adversely affect organ usage aside for concerns over malignancy. Ischemic time greater than six hours has no documented adverse effects on recipient mortality and should not limit donor retrieval distances. Brain dead donors and deceased donors have equivalent prognosis. Initial PaO2/FiO2 ratios less than 300 should not dissuade donor organ usage, although recruitment techniques should be implemented with intent to transplant.