Impact of Brain Death on Abdominal Organs and Allograft Preservation Strategies

  • Coney Bae
  • Anthony Watkins
  • Scot D. Henry
  • James V. Guarrera


In the vast majority of cases, clinical solid organ transplantation utilizes organs from brain-dead donors. Brain death imposes hemodynamic, neuroendocrine, and inflammatory stresses upon end organs, which may jeopardize the functional and structural integrity of allografts. Furthermore, these injuries are compounded by cold ischemia associated with organ preservation. As the success of transplantation relies on optimal condition of the grafts, beneficial interventions are necessary at every stage of the donation and recovery process, starting from medical management of potential donors, to static cold storage, and “reconditioning” of the organs by hypothermic machine perfusion. As opposed to static cold storage, hypothermic machine perfusion has many advantages, including reductions in graft primary nonfunction, early allograft dysfunction, and postsurgical complications. In addition, increased graft viability in marginal organs which might otherwise be deemed unusable by some clinicians has the potential to expand the donor pool. Further work in dynamic preservation techniques is necessary to more efficiently ameliorate the injuries associated with brain death and cold ischemia.


Reperfusion Injury Brain Death Cold Storage Organ Preservation Cold Ischemia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Coney Bae
    • 1
  • Anthony Watkins
    • 1
  • Scot D. Henry
    • 1
  • James V. Guarrera
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation, Department of SurgeryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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