OBJECTIVES: Brain death (BD) is associated with various systemic responses and a cascade of inflammatory reactions. It is still unknown how the time interval from BD to cold preservation (CP) affects outcome after lung transplantation (LTx). This report investigates the impact of the time interval from BD to CP on long-term outcome in LTx.
METHODS: We reviewed 250 consecutive recipients who underwent LTx at our institution between January 2000 and December 2011. In Group I (n = 212), the time interval from BD to CP was <24 h, and in Group II (n = 38) >24 h. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was performed to determine the risk factors affecting survival.
RESULTS: The median time from BD to CP was 18.6 h (range 9-65). The rate of postoperative complications was comparable (P = 0.8). The 30-day mortality rate was 7.5% in Group I and 0% in Group II. The 5-year survival rate was better in Group II [70% (95% CI: 48.5-83.8%)] than in Group I [66% (95% CI: 58.3-72.5%)] without statistical significance (P = 0.3). Intraoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) use was identified as a significant risk factor for survival [HR = 1.7, (95% CI: 1.1-2.6), P = 0.01].
CONCLUSION: In our cohort, the time interval from BD to CP had no impact on long-term outcome after LTx.