Donation after circulatory death (DCD)—lung procurement

Suresh Keshavamurthy, Peter Rodgers-Fischl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The number of lungs available for lung transplantation is far lower than the number of patients awaiting them. Consequently, there is a significant attrition rate while awaiting transplantation. Lung procurement rates are lower than those of other solid organs. Lungs are procured from only 15–20% of donors compared with 30% of decreased donors for hearts. The reason for this low retrieval rate is related to a number of factors. Brain death is associated with neurogenic pulmonary edema. Additionally, injury to the lung itself may occur before or after brain death. Aspiration of gastric contents, pneumonia, previous thoracic trauma, ventilator-associated injury, atelectasis, and pulmonary thrombosis/embolism may all contribute to lung injury before consideration for harvest. Donation after circulatory death (DCD) is one category of nontraditional organ donation now being performed in increasing numbers as a way to increase the number of lungs available for transplantation. In some studies, estimates show that utilization of DCD lung procurement could increase the number of lungs available by up to 50%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons.


  • Checklist for DCD
  • Different scenarios
  • Donation after circulatory death (DCD)
  • Lung procurement
  • Recent advances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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