Recovery of nonbeating donor hearts

R. W. Illes, G. K. Asimakis, K. Inners-McBride, E. D. Buckingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Use of hearts from non-heart-beating donors could greatly increase the pool of cardiac homografts. This hypothesis was investigated in a model of traumatic death with New Zealand rabbits which were exsanguinated after 10 minutes of hypotension. Methods: The hearts were left in situ at normothermia until just before the onset of contracture, were surgically exposed, given either blood cardioplegic, crystalloid cardioplegic, or University of Wisconsin cardioplegic solution, and then stored for 1 hour at 4° C in the respective solutions. The hearts were reperfused for 20 minutes with a Langendorff apparatus. A balloon was placed in the left ventricle, and peak developed pressure and diastolic pressure-volume relationship data were collected over a range of balloon volumes. Control data was obtained from nonischemic rabbit hearts. Results: Blood cardioplegic solution preserved peak developed pressure and the slope of diastolic pressure-volume relationship at control levels, whereas crystalloid cardioplegic and University of Wisconsin solutions showed significant deterioration in both of these indexes. The total adenine nucleotide pool was significantly improved with the use of blood cardioplegic solution compared with crystalloid cardioplegic and University of Wisconsin solutions although all groups were significantly depressed compared with control values. Conclusions: This study indicates that hearts harvested from non-heart-beating donors can have function that is not statistically different from controls if preserved with blood cardioplegic solution and that University of Wisconsin and crystalloid cardioplegic solutions are inadequate for preserving hearts harvested under these unique conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-561
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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