Date:18 October, 2012

Portable device could boost number of lung transplants

A new device that can store and transport donor lungs has been developed by researchers in Germany.

The Organ Care System is the first portable device that uses the process of normothermic perfusion, which uses the principle of keeping the lungs at body temperature before surgery.

The small study, published in The Lancet, examined the use of the device on 12 transplant patients in Germany and Spain. Explanted lungs were immediately connected to the Organ Care System before surgery. The researchers assessed donor and recipient characteristics and other factors such as time on mechanical ventilation and length of stay in hospital.

The results showed that all recipients recovered and were discharged from hospital. The researchers conclude that lungs can be safely preserved in the Organ Care System. The team have begun recruitment for a prospective, randomised, multicentre trial (INSPIRE) to compare preservation with OCS Lung with standard cold storage.