Establishing an economical and widely accessible donation after circulatory death animal abattoir model for lung research using ex vivo lung perfusion

Zhang Long Zhang*, Niels Moeslund, Michiel Andy Hu, Roland Hoffmann, Leonie Harmina Venema, Caroline Van De Wauwer, Wim Timens, Toshihiro Okamoto, Erik Alfons Maria Verschuuren, Henri Gerrit Derk Leuvenink, Hans Eiskjaer, Michiel Elardus Erasmus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is a preservation method that allows simultaneous testing and treatment of the lungs. However, use of EVLP is costly and requires access to lab animals and accompanying facilities. To increase the use of EVLP for research, we developed a method to perform EVLP using abattoir procured lungs. Six pair of lungs were procured from abattoir sheep. The lungs were then flushed and stored in ice for 3 hours. A low flow (20% of cardiac output) approach, a tidal volume of 6ml/kg bodyweight and total perfusion time of 3 hours were chosen. Perfusion fluids and circuits were self-made. Mean pO2 remained stable from 60 minutes (49.3 ± 7.1kPa) to 180 minutes (51.5kPa ± 8.0), p = 0.66. Pulmonary artery pressure remained ≤ 15 mmHg and the left atrial pressure remained between 3-5 mmHg and peak respiratory pressures ≤ 20 cmH2 O. Lactate dehydrogenase increased from start (96.3 ± 56.4 u/L) to end of perfusion (315.8 ± 85.0 u/L), p < 0.05. No difference was observed in ATP between procurement and post-EVLP, 129.7 ± 37.4 μmol/g protein to 132.0 ± 23.4 μmol/g, p = 0.92. These findings indicate that abattoir acquired sheep lungs can be preserved on EVLP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2190
Number of pages12
Issue number11
Early online date20-Jul-2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2022


  • abattoir
  • animal
  • ex vivo lung perfusion
  • low flow perfusion
  • ovine
  • research model
  • sheep

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