A revolutionary change in organ transport opens up completely new possibilities in lung transplantation

Prague – June 29, 2023 – At the end of June, the 40th transplant of this year was performed at the Faculty Hospital in Motola as part of the National Lung Transplantation Program for the Czech and Slovak Republics. For the transport and preservation of lungs, a completely new approach was applied for the first time, when an ice box was not used for transport, in which the temperature is below 4 °C and drops to the freezing point, but the LUNGGUARD box, where a significantly higher temperature is maintained around 8 ° C, which is completely constant and without fluctuations.

According to newly published studies cold ischemia time can be significantly longer in these conditions, lung function is better immediately after transplantation and enables better short-term and long-term results.

Published studies show that prolonged cold ischemia under such suitable temperature conditions could improve graft function by protecting cytoplasmic membrane function and reducing the risk of mitochondrial damage.

A 56-year-old man with respiratory failure in the terminal phase of pulmonary fibrosis underwent transplantation. Remote lung sampling was performed, the lungs were stored, transported, preserved in the LUNGGUARD system, and bilateral sequential lung transplantation with ECMO support was subsequently performed.

"The lung function immediately after the transplant was very good, the patient was immediately disconnected from extracorporeal circulation in the operating room, and the next day also from the ventilator, and he is breathing spontaneously. The time of cold ischemia was 14 hours compared to the usual 4-8 hours, this brings us a huge logistical advantage, when we can accept samples from more distant workplaces, but also, for example, two samples at the same time, even though we only have one team available. One lung can wait in this box until the transplant is completed, followed by the other.” explains prof. MD Robert Lischke, Ph.D., Head III. surgical clinics of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the UK and Motol General Hospital.

Expert studies with data supporting the application of this revolutionary method using higher temperatures were presented for the first time at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation congress in Denver, USA in April of this year, and at the same time were published in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine.

 "We are glad that this method was thus quickly implemented into the practice of our transplant program and improve both short-term and long-term outcomes,” adds Professor Lischke.

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