To determine the feasibility of en bloc removal of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and pancreas for preservation with warm blood autoperfusion, organs from 34 dogs were preserved ex vivo for periods of between 3 and 22 hours. The lungs were ventilated with a Bird Mark 7 respirator, and the heart served as the pump to perfuse all organs of the multiple organ block. In the first group of 28 animals, surgical and pharmacologic techniques were developed to permit management of the ex vivo model. The last six experiments were conducted in a standardized fashion for a period of 6 hours and evaluated on the basis of hemodynamic, biochemical, and pathologic measurements. In this group the pH level remained stable and blood gas levels remained within normal limits for inspired oxygen of 0.2. Serum and urine electrolyte levels were easily maintained within normal limits. Serum enzyme values were evaluated initially after operation, and this increase persisted throughout the preservation period in most animals. Continuing refinements in surgical technique, pharmacologic management, and chamber development resulted in a dramatic reduction of the edema and organ damage seen on pathologic studies of the initial experiments. The presence of focal lymphatic congestion, however, was noted even in the animals in group II and may have been related to ligation of major lymphatic channels or to endothelial loss. These changes could contribute to the development of the pathologic changes seen in irreversible shock. Preservation of the multiple organ block by warm autoperfusion is an important step in understanding the physiology of organ preservation and has potential for permitting prolonged organ preservation. Studies are continuing to further analyze this model and prolong the time of preservation. Final assessment of the model will be transplantation of the preserved organs and evaluation of function after implantation.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Heart Transplantation
|Published - Jan 1 1988
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