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December 8, 2010

UCLA to Conduct Study of Heart Preservation Device

The heart transplantation team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the US is conducting a Phase II clinical study of an experimental organ-preservation system, which allows donor hearts to continue functioning during transport. The Organ Care System (OCS), which has been developed

By cms admin

The heart transplantation team at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the US is conducting a Phase II clinical study of an experimental organ-preservation system, which allows donor hearts to continue functioning during transport.

The Organ Care System (OCS), which has been developed by TransMedics, consists of a high-tech box into which the heart is placed after it is removed from the donor’s body.

Once in the box, the donor heart is immediately revived to a beating state, perfused with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, and maintained at an appropriate temperature.

The device also features a monitor which displays how the heart is faring during transport.

The current standard of transporting donor heart involves the use of iceboxes, and requires the heart to be restarted once it has been placed inside the recipient.

Principal investigator Dr Abbas Ardehali said the concept of transplanting a donor heart in a beating state is revolutionary.

“The new technology can help us better assess the suitability of a potential donor, since we can test the heart in the device,” Ardehali added.

The multi-centre, randomised and controlled study will enrol 128 patients across the US, and will compare the safety and effectiveness of the experimental OCS with the existing icebox method in keeping donor hearts healthy.

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