While transplantation is a proven modality for the treatment of end stage organ disease, an important determinant of outcome is the adequacy of organ preservation. Currently, heart preservation is limited to 4 to 6 hours of cold ischemic storage, and the effectiveness depends to a great extent on the solution and its temperature. The formulation of the solution is based on three basic principles: (a) hypothermic arrest of metabolism, (b) provision of a physical and biochemical environment to maintain viability of the structural components of the tissue during hypothermic metabolic slowing, and (c) minimization of reperfusion injury. This review presents the physiologic principles underlying the use of hypothermia and the chemical components of preservation fluids, specifically pertaining to preservation of the heart for transplantation. New approaches designed to protect the heart from surgical ischemic-reperfusion injury are presented as well. The object is to survey current strategies and generate insight into new and promising solutions designed to optimize donor heart preservation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine