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A Rat Lung Transplantation Model of Warm Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury: Optimizations to Improve Outcomes

Yong Gyu Lee1,2, Jung-Lye Kim1,2, Andre F. Palmer3, Brenda F. Reader4, Jianjie Ma1, Sylvester M. Black2,4, Bryan A. Whitson1,2


From our experience with rat lung transplantation, we have found several areas for improvement. Information in the existing literature regarding methods for choosing appropriate cuff sizes for the pulmonary vein (PV), pulmonary artery (PA), or bronchus (Br) are varied, thus making the determination of proper cuff size during rat lung transplantation an exercise of trial and error. By standardizing the cuffing technique to use the smallest effective cuff appropriate for the size of the vessel or bronchus, one can make the transplantation procedure safer, faster, and more successful. Since diameters of the PV, PA, and Br are related to the body weight of the rat, we present a strategy to choosing an appropriate size using a weight-based guide. Since lung volume is also related to body weight, we recommend that this relationship should also be considered when choosing the proper volume of air for donor lung inflation during warm ischemia as well as for the proper volume of PBS to be instilled during bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid collection. We also describe methods for 4th intercostal space dissection, wound closure, and sample collection from both the native and transplanted lobes.

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