Current Transplantation Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 273–281 | Cite as

State of the Science in Deceased Organ Donor Management

  • Madhukar S. Patel
  • Mitchell Sally
  • Claus U. Niemann
  • Darren J. Malinoski
Anesthesia and Critical Care in Transplantation (D Axelrod and M Kaufman, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Anesthesia and Critical Care in Transplantation


Purpose of Review

Research in deceased organ donor management offers an opportunity to increase the quantity and quality of organs available for transplantation. This article aims to appraise the current literature with a focus on reviewing deceased donor intervention trials.

Recent Findings

Aggressive critical care management after determination of brain death resulting in meeting of a donor management goal bundle has consistently demonstrated an association with significantly more organs transplanted per donor as well as improved graft outcomes. Although there is a dearth of experience with randomized donor intervention studies, dopamine and targeted mild therapeutic hypothermia have been found to significantly reduce delayed graft function in kidney recipients.


Progress in understanding the ethical, legal, regulatory, policy, and organizational elements of organ donor research has provided a mechanism that allows for the endorsement of potentially impactful donor management studies. Ongoing trials should incorporate methods to ensure safety to all organs donated from donors enrolled in interventional trials.


Deceased organ donor Organ donor management Donor intervention research Organ donor clinical trial 


Funding Information

This work was supported in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration contract 234-2005-37011C. The content is the responsibility of the authors alone and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Madhukar Patel, Mitchell Sally, and Claus Niemann declare no conflict of interest. Darren Malinoski reports grants from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, during the conduct of the study.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madhukar S. Patel
    • 1
  • Mitchell Sally
    • 2
    • 3
  • Claus U. Niemann
    • 4
    • 5
  • Darren J. Malinoski
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Surgical Critical Care SectionPortland Veterans Affairs Medical CenterPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative CareUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Surgery, Division of TransplantationUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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