We examined the hypothesis that the degree of inflation of the lungs at the time of harvest may have an important role in postpreservation function. Lungs of donor dogs randomly assigned to groups 1 (n = 5) and 2 (n = 5) were ventilated with large tidal volumes (tidal volume, 25 ml/kg; positive end- expiratory pressure, 5 cm H2O; respiratory rate, 12 breaths/min, inspired oxygen fraction 1.0) and were inflated to 30 cm H2O for 15 seconds before pulmonary artery flush and again immediately before tracheal crossclamping. In group 3 (n = 5) donor lungs were normally ventilated (tidal volume, 12.5 ml/kg, positive end-expiratory pressure 0 cm H2O; respiratory rate 12 breaths/min, inspired oxygen fraction, 1.0) and were not hyperinflated before pulmonary artery flushing; the trachea was crossclamped at end-inspiration. In groups 1 and 3 a large bolus (25 μg/kg) of prostaglandin E1 was injected into the pulmonary artery before flushing and was also added to the pulmonary artery flush solution (500 μg/L). A rapid (approximately 50 seconds), high- volume (50 ml/kg), low-pressure (5 to 8 mm Hg), hypothermic (4° C) pulmonary artery flush was performed in all groups with modified Euro-Collins solution. Heart-lung blocks were stored at 4° C for approximately 29 hours before left single lung allografting. An inflatable cuff was placed around the recipient right pulmonary artery, allowing independent study of the transplanted lung. Hyperinflated lungs harvested with or without prostaglandin E1 provided equivalently excellent early posttransplant function (arterial oxygen tension [mean ± standard deviation]: group 1; 503 ± 45, vs group 2; 529 ± 150 mm Hg; inspired oxygen fraction 1.0). Mean arterial oxygen tension was significantly lower in group 3 (116 ± 78 mm Hg) than in either groups 1 or 2 (p < 0.0002 for either comparison). Copious reperfusion pulmonary edema was a constant feature in group 3 but was not seen in groups 1 and 2. All 10 recipients in groups 1 and 2 survived the 3-day assessment period without difficulty; two of the five recipients in group 3 died during initial unilateral perfusion of the transplanted lung. Donor hyperventilation and inflation to 30 cm H2O before hypothermic storage can help provide excellent posttransplantation lung function after 30-hour preservation, with or without prostaglandin E1 pretreatment. We speculate that this improvement may be due to effects of increased lung volume on pulmonary vascular tone and/or surfactant metabolism.