Flow-controlled ventilation during EVLP improves oxygenation and preserves alveolar recruitment

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Abstract

Background: Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a widespread accepted platform for preservation and evaluation of donor lungs prior to lung transplantation (LTx). Standard lungs are ventilated using volume-controlled ventilation (VCV). We investigated the effects of flow-controlled ventilation (FCV) in a large animal EVLP model. Fourteen porcine lungs were mounted on EVLP after a warm ischemic interval of 2 h and randomized in two groups (n = 7/group). In VCV, 7 grafts were conventionally ventilated and in FCV, 7 grafts were ventilated by flow-controlled ventilation. EVLP physiologic parameters (compliance, pulmonary vascular resistance and oxygenation) were recorded hourly. After 6 h of EVLP, broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) was performed and biopsies for wet-to-dry weight (W/D) ratio and histology were taken. The left lung was inflated, frozen in liquid nitrogen vapors and scanned with computed tomography (CT) to assess regional distribution of Hounsfield units (HU). Results: All lungs endured 6 h of EVLP. Oxygenation was better in FCV compared to VCV (p = 0.01) and the decrease in lung compliance was less in FCV (p = 0.03). W/D ratio, pathology and BAL samples did not differ between both groups (p = 0.16, p = 0.55 and p = 0.62). Overall, CT densities tended to be less pronounced in FCV (p = 0.05). Distribution of CT densities revealed a higher proportion of well-aerated lung parts in FCV compared to VCV (p = 0.01). Conclusions: FCV in pulmonary grafts mounted on EVLP is feasible and leads to improved oxygenation and alveolar recruitment. This ventilation strategy might prolong EVLP over time, with less risk for volutrauma and atelectrauma.

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Ordies, S., Orlitova, M., Heigl, T., Sacreas, A., Van Herck, A., Kaes, J., … Neyrinck, A. P. (2020). Flow-controlled ventilation during EVLP improves oxygenation and preserves alveolar recruitment. Intensive Care Medicine Experimental , 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40635-020-00360-w

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