Background: Organ Care System (OCS) minimizes the cold ischemic time and allows for optimization of logistics and meticulous recipient preparation. Impact of normothermic ex-vivo preservation using OCS compared with cold storage (CS) for prolonged heart preservation especially beneficial for high-risk recipients bridged to transplantation with Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS).
Methods: Between 2012 and 2018, we performed a retrospective single-center review of prospectively collected data. All patients who underwent heart transplantation with MCS using the OCS Heart (n=25) versus standard cold storage were included in this study.
Results: During this period, 300 patients were implanted with left ventricular assisted device (LVAD) and 35 (11.6 %) were bridged to heart transplantation. There was no significant difference in donor and recipient characteristics and risk factors. The Index for Mortality Prediction after Cardiac Transplantation (IMPACT) score was a trend towards higher estimated risk of death at 1y in the OCS group (14.2 vs. 10.8% p= 0.083). Mean total ischemic time during preservation was statistically significantly longer in CS vs OCS group (210 (23) Vs 74.6 (13) min p=0.001). Median ex vivo normothermic heart perfusion time in OCS was 348.4(132; 955) min. There was significant difference in total out of body time between OCS group 423(67) Vs CS group 210(23) min p=0.002). The allografts were reperfused for 73 (33) vs 121 (45) minutes (p=0.01) before disconnection from cardiopulmonary bypass in OCS vs CS group. All patients were alive on the 30th days post implant in CS groups and 96% in OCS group (p=0.5).
Conclusion: Normothermic ex-vivo preservation of the allograft during transportation with the organ care system might be beneficial for long-time out of body organ preservation in comparison of cold storage especially for recipients on mechanical circulatory support.