Background: Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) enables assessment of marginal donor lungs for transplantation, with similar clinical outcomes to conventional lung transplantation. We investigated whether cell death-related proteins in the EVLP perfusate could predict primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after transplantation. Methods: M30 (indicating epithelial apoptosis), M65 (indicating total epithelial cell death), and high mobility group box 1 (HMGB-1, related to cell death and inflammation) protein levels in EVLP perfusate were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and correlated with clinical outcomes. Results: From 100 sequential EVLP patients, 79 lungs were transplanted. Patients who were bridged with extracorporeal life support (ECLS, n = 6) or who received lobar/single lung (n = 25) were excluded. PGD grade 3 (partial pressure of arterial oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen <200 or need for ECLS) developed in 11 at any time within 72 hours after transplantation (PGD Group). PGD grade 3 did not develop in 34 patients (Control Group). M30 was significantly higher in the PGD Group than in the Control Group at 1 hour (PGD: 73.3 ± 24.9, control: 53.9 ± 15.9 U/liter; p < 0.01) and at 4 hours (PGD: 137.0 ± 146.6, Control: 72.4 ± 40.0 U/liter; p = 0.046) of EVLP. The increase of HMGB-1 from 1 to 4 hours of EVLP was significantly greater in the PGD Group (PGD: 37.0 ± 25.4, Control: 7.2 ± 16.8 ng/ml; p < 0.001). Higher levels of or a greater increase in M30 and a greater increase in HMGB-1 were associated with higher mortality in Cox regression. Conclusions: Levels of M30 and HMGB-1 in the EVLP perfusate correlate with PGD after lung transplantation and might therefore be useful biomarkers to improve donor lung assessment during EVLP.
- Cell death
- Ex vivo lung perfusion
- Lung transplantation
- Primary graft dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine