Thoracoabdominal normothermic regional perfusion in donation after circulatory death does not restore brain blood flow
Use of thoracoabdominal normothermic regional perfusion (TA-NRP) during donation after circulatory death (DCD) is an important advance in organ donation. Prior to establishing TA-NRP, the brachiocephalic, left carotid, and left subclavian arteries are ligated, thereby eliminating anterograde brain blood flow via the carotid and vertebral arteries. While theoretical concerns have been voiced that TA-NRP after DCD may restore brain blood flow via collaterals, there have been no studies to confirm or refute this possibility. We evaluated brain blood flow using intraoperative transcranial Doppler (TCD) in two DCD TA-NRP cases. Pre-extubation, anterior and posterior circulation brain blood flow waveforms were present in both cases, similar to the waveforms detected in a control patient on mechanical circulatory support undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. Following declaration of death and initiation of TA-NRP, no brain blood flow was detected in either case. Additionally, there was absence of brainstem reflexes, no response to noxious stimuli and no respiratory effort. These TCD results demonstrate that DCD with TA-NRP did not restore brain blood flow.
Pig-to-human heart xenotransplantation in two recently deceased human recipients
Genetically modified xenografts are one of the most promising solutions to the discrepancy between the numbers of available human organs for transplantation and potential recipients. To date, a porcine heart has been implanted into only one human recipient. Here, using 10-gene-edited pigs, we transplanted porcine hearts into two brain-dead human recipients and monitored xenograft function, hemodynamics and systemic responses over the course of 66 hours. Although both xenografts demonstrated excellent cardiac function immediately after transplantation and continued to function for the duration of the study, cardiac function declined postoperatively in one case, attributed to a size mismatch between the donor pig and the recipient. For both hearts, we confirmed transgene expression and found no evidence of cellular or antibody-mediated rejection, as assessed using histology, flow cytometry and a cytotoxic crossmatch assay. Moreover, we found no evidence of zoonotic transmission from the donor pigs to the human recipients. While substantial additional work will be needed to advance this technology to human trials, these results indicate that pig-to-human heart xenotransplantation can be performed successfully without hyperacute rejection or zoonosis.
Heart transplantation: advances in expanding the donor pool and xenotransplantation
Approximately 65 million adults globally have heart failure, and the prevalence is expected to increase substantially with ageing populations. Despite advances in pharmacological and device therapy of heart failure, long-term morbidity and mortality remain high. Many patients progress to advanced heart failure and develop persistently severe symptoms. Heart transplantation remains the gold-standard therapy to improve the quality of life, functional status and survival of these patients. However, there is a large imbalance between the supply of organs and the demand for heart transplants. Therefore, expanding the donor pool is essential to reduce mortality while on the waiting list and improve clinical outcomes in this patient population. A shift has occurred to consider the use of organs from donors with hepatitis C virus, HIV or SARS-CoV-2 infection. Other advances in this field have also expanded the donor pool, including opt-out donation policies, organ donation after circulatory death and xenotransplantation. We provide a comprehensive overview of these various novel strategies, provide objective data on their safety and efficacy, and discuss some of the unresolved issues and controversies of each approach.
HHV-6 Myocarditis Progressing to Ventricular Standstill Requiring Cardiac Transplant
Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is an increasingly recognized cause of myocarditis. We present the case of a 46-year-old woman who presented with fulminant HHV-6 myocarditis requiring heart transplantation. (Level of Difficulty: Advanced.)
Commentary: United Network for Organ Sharing policies work, but progress only occurs at the speed of a snail: A need for expeditious adjustments [Editorial]
Extracorporeal hemoadsorption in critically ill COVID-19 patients on VV ECMO: the CytoSorb therapy in COVID-19 (CTC) registry
OBJECTIVES:The CytoSorb therapy in COVID-19 (CTC) registry evaluated the clinical performance and treatment parameters of extracorporeal hemoadsorption integrated with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO) in critically ill COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and respiratory failure under US FDA Emergency Use Authorization. DESIGN:Multicenter, observational, registry (NCT04391920). SETTING:Intensive care units (ICUs) in five major US academic centers between April 2020 and January 2022. PATIENTS:A total of 100 critically ill adults with COVID-19-related ARDS requiring VV ECMO support, who were treated with extracorporeal hemoadsorption. INTERVENTIONS:None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:(p = 0.14). No device-related adverse events were reported. CONCLUSIONS:In critically ill patients with severe COVID-19-related ARDS treated with the combination of VV-ECMO and hemoadsorption, 90-day survival was 74% and earlier intervention was associated with shorter need for organ support and ICU stay. These results lend support to the concept of "enhanced lung rest" with the combined use of VV-ECMO plus hemoadsorption in patients with ARDS.
Intraoperative Considerations and Management of Simultaneous Heart Kidney Transplantation
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Impact on Host Transcriptomic Response in Severe Coronavirus
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Evidence suggests that patients critically ill with COVID-19 have a dysregulated host immune response that contributes to end-organ damage. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used in this population with varying degrees of success. This study was performed to evaluate the impact of ECMO on the host immunotranscriptomic response in these patients. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Eleven patients critically ill with COVID-19 requiring ECMO underwent an analysis of cytokines and immunotranscriptomic pathways before ECMO (T1), after ECMO for 24 hours (T2), and 2 hours after ECMO decannulation (T3). A Multiplex Human Cytokine panel was used to identify cytokine changes, and immunotranscriptomic changes in peripheral leukocytes were evaluated by PAXgene and NanoString nCounter. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:, which code for binding ligands for the activation of toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Reactome analyses of differential gene expression demonstrated an impact on many of the body's most important immune inflammatory pathways. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:These findings suggest a temporal impact of ECMO on the host immunotranscriptomic response in patients critically ill with COVID-19.
Donation after circulatory death heart transplantation using normothermic regional perfusion:The NYU Protocol
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:This study aimed to evaluate the impact of cardiopulmonary bypass for thoraco-abdominal normothermic regional perfusion on the metabolic milieu of donation after cardiac death organ donors before transplantation. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Local donation after cardiac death donor offers are assessed for suitability and willingness to participate. Withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy is performed in the operating room. After declaration of circulatory death and a 5-minute observation period, the cardiac team performs a median sternotomy, ligation of the aortic arch vessels, and initiation of thoraco-abdominal normothermic regional perfusion via central cardiopulmonary bypass at 37 °C. Three sodium chloride zero balance ultrafiltration bags containing 50 mEq sodium bicarbonate and 0.5 g calcium carbonate are infused. Arterial blood gas measurements are obtained every 15 minutes after every zero balance ultrafiltration bag is infused, and blood is transfused as needed to maintain hemoglobin greater than 8 mg/dL. Cardiopulmonary bypass is weaned with concurrent hemodynamic and transesophageal echocardiogram evaluation of the donor heart. The remainder of the procurement, including the abdominal organs, proceeds in a similar controlled fashion as is performed for a standard donation after brain death donor. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:.001) . On average, donation after cardiac death donors received transfusions of 2.3 ± 1.5 units of packed red blood cells. Of the 18 donors who underwent normothermic regional perfusion, all hearts were deemed suitable for recovery and successfully transplanted, a yield of 100%. Other organs successfully recovered and transplanted include kidneys (80.6% yield), livers (66.7% yield), and bilateral lungs (27.8% yield). CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:The use of cardiopulmonary bypass for thoraco-abdominal normothermic regional perfusion is a burgeoning option for improving the quality of organs from donation after cardiac death donors. Meticulous intraoperative management of donation after cardiac death donors with a specific focus on improving their metabolic milieu may lead to improved graft function in transplant recipients.
Long-term follow-up of acute and chronic rejection in heart transplant recipients from hepatitis C viremic (NAT+) donors
The long-term safety of heart transplants from hepatitis C viremic (NAT+) donors remains uncertain. We conducted a prospective study of all patients who underwent heart transplantation at our center from January 2018 through August 2020. Routine testing was performed to assess for donor-derived cell-free DNA, acute cellular rejection (ACR), antibody-mediated rejection (AMR), and cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). Allograft dysfunction and mortality were also monitored. Seventy-five NAT- recipients and 32 NAT+ recipients were enrolled in the study. All NAT+ recipients developed viremia detected by PCR, were treated with glecaprevir/pibrentasvir at the time of viremia detection, and cleared the virus by 59â€‰days post-transplant. Patients who underwent NAT testing starting on post-operative day 7 (NAT+ Group 1) had significantly higher viral loads and were viremic for a longer period compared with patients tested on post-operative day 1 (NAT+ Group 2). Through 3.5â€‰years of follow-up, there were no statistically significant differences in timing, severity, or frequency of ACR in NAT+ recipients compared with the NAT- cohort, nor were there differences in noninvasive measures of graft injury, incidence or severity of CAV, graft dysfunction, or mortality. There were five episodes of AMR, all in the NAT- group. There were no statistically significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2 NAT+ cohorts. Overall, these findings underscore the safety of heart transplantation from NAT+ donors.