Surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center have transplanted the first lungs treated in the United States with an experimental repair process before transplantation. The procedure is part of a five-center national clinical research trial to evaluate the efficacy of repairing, before transplant, lungs that might otherwise have been passed over as unsuitable for organ donation.
The research focuses on an external profusion technique using a fluid called STEEN Solution™.
For the clinical trial, lungs are recovered using current donor lung retrieval techniques. Once brought to the study transplant center, the lungs are reassessed by the transplant team. The lungs are then physiologically assessed during ex vivo perfusion with STEEN Solution over a period of 3 to 4 hours. During this time, the transplant team evaluates abnormalities inside the lungs, oxygenation levels, and overall health of the lungs. At the end of the process, the transplant team determines if the lungs meet the high standards necessary for transplantation.
“Studies from other sites outside the U.S. have demonstrated that the results after transplantation using this ex vivo technique were at least as good as lungs that had not required perfusion,” said Bartley P. Griffith, MD, professor of surgery and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Maryland. “These findings, plus the expertise from within our own center, give me great confidence in the future use of this ex vivo perfusion technique as an option to potentially increase our pool of transplantable lungs and reduce long wait times for our transplant candidates.”
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center