Expanding the donor pool: Use of renal transplants from non-heart-beating donors supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Chih Yuan Lee, Meng Kun Tsai, Wen Je Ko, Chee Jen Chang, Rey Heng Hu, Shih Chieh Chueh, Ming Kuen Lai, Po Huang Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

55 Scopus citations


In response to organ shortage, we used the renal grafts from non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was used to maintain NHBDs before organ procurement. We compared the results of renal transplantation from different donors, including heart-beating donors (HBDs), living-related donors (LDs), and NHBDs supported with ECMO. From February 1998 to June 2003, we recruited 219 patients receiving renal transplantation at National Taiwan University Hospital. Among them, 31 received kidneys from NHBDs supported with ECMO, 120 from HBDs, and 68 from LDs. Multiple organ transplant recipients were not included in this study. We compared the graft survival, serum creatinine levels, and estimated glomerular filtration rates of the three groups. The rate of delayed graft function was higher in NHBD recipients (41.9%) than in HBD recipients (27.0%) and LD recipients (10.9%) (p = 0.003). In the NHBD group, the recipients of grafts with delayed function had significantly longer ECMO runs (63.1 ± 3.0 min) than those without delayed function (53.7 ± 2.5 min) (p = 0.024). Estimated glomerular filtration rate (p = 0.472) and mean serum creatinine level (p = 0.286) were not significantly different between the three groups using a longitudinal approach. The 5-yr graft survival rates for NHBD (88.4%, 95% CI: 0.680-0.962), HBD (83.2%, 95% CI: 0.728-0.899), and LD transplant recipients (89.3%, 95% CI: 0.619-0.974) were not significantly different (p = 0.239). The 5-yr patient survival rates for NHBD. HBD, and LD transplant recipients were 100, 93.0 (95% CI: 0.859-0.966) and 100% respectively. The long-term allograft survival and function of kidneys from NHBDs supported by ECMO, HBD, and LD did not differ significantly. Long ECMO running time tended to delay graft function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 06 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Non-heart-beating donor


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