The rising need for lung transplantation over recent years has not paralleled the availability of suitable lung allografts. The number of lung transplantations performed each year in the United States remains limited by an inadequate supply of suitable donors as well as low donor utilization rates. While several methods have been proposed for increasing the donor pool, there is considerable disparity between acceptance and utilization of these practices among transplant centers. In this review article, we explore various approaches for enhancing donor selection and expanding the donor pool. We discuss the use of "extended criteria" donors including high risk groups such as drug overdose donors, and we examine the role of techniques in donor assessment and selection such as the use of computed tomography for accurate size matching. We review topics in donor management such as the establishment of specialized donor care facilities and the implementation of lung-focused resuscitation protocols, and we discuss advancements in donor procurement such as the utilization of local procurement teams. We also review barriers to donation, such as variability in organ procurement organization (OPO) consent practices, as well as patient-specific factors such as religious or cultural beliefs. Addressing these aspects of donor evaluation, management, and accessibility is essential in maximizing the number of lungs available for transplantation within the existing donor pool.
- Lung transplant
- Organ donor