Specialized Donor Care Facility Model and Advances in Management of Thoracic Organ Donors

Amit Bery, Gary Marklin, Akinobu Itoh, Daniel Kreisel, Tsuyoshi Takahashi, Bryan Meyers, Ruben Nava, Benjamin Kozower, Hailey Shepherd, G. Alexander Patterson, Varun Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Donor hearts and lungs are more susceptible to the inflammatory physiologic changes that occur after brain death. Prior investigations have shown that protocolized management of potential organ donors can rehabilitate donor organs that are initially deemed unacceptable. In this review we discuss advances in donor management models with particular attention to the specialized donor care facility model. In addition we review specific strategies to optimize donor thoracic organs and improve organ yield in thoracic transplantation. Methods: We performed a literature review by searching the PubMed database for medical subject heading terms associated with organ donor management models. We also communicated with our local organ procurement organization to gather published and unpublished information first-hand. Results: The specialized donor care facility model has been shown to improve the efficiency of organ donor management and procurement while reducing costs and minimizing travel and its associated risks. Lung protective ventilation, recruitment of atelectatic lung, and hormone therapy (eg, glucocorticoids and triiodothyronine/thyroxine) are associated with improved lung utilization rates. Stroke volume–based resuscitation is associated with improved heart utilization rates, whereas studies evaluating hormone therapy (eg, glucocorticoids and triiodothyronine/thyroxine) have shown variable results. Conclusions: Lack of high-quality prospective evidence results in conflicting practices across organ procurement organizations, and best practices remain controversial. Future studies should focus on prospective, randomized investigations to evaluate donor management strategies. The specialized donor care facility model fosters a collaborative environment that encourages academic inquiry and is an ideal setting for these investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1778-1786
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


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