A Randomized, Multicenter, Blinded Pilot Study Assessing the Effects of Gaseous Nitric Oxide in an Ex Vivo System of Human Lungs

Matthew G. Hartwig, Jacob A. Klapper, Nagaraju Poola, Amit Banga, Pablo G. Sanchez, John S. Murala, Jim L. Potenziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Normothermic ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) is used to evaluate and condition donor lungs for transplantation. The objective of this study was to determine whether administration of exogenous nitric oxide during EVLP contributes to improvement of lung health. Methods: A multicenter, blinded, two-arm, randomized pilot study evaluated the effect of gaseous nitric oxide (gNO) administered during EVLP on donor lungs rejected for transplantation. gNO introduced into the perfusate at 80 parts per million (ppm) was compared with perfusate alone (P). An open-label substudy assessed inhaled nitric oxide gas (iNO) delivered into the lungs at 20 ppm via a ventilator. Primary endpoints were an aggregate score of lung physiology indicators and total duration of stable EVLP time. Secondary endpoints included assessments of lung weight and left atrium partial pressure of oxygen (LAPO2). Results: Twenty bilateral donor lungs (blinded study, n = 16; open-label substudy, n = 4) from three centers were enrolled. Median (min, max) total EVLP times for the gNO, P, and iNO groups were 12.4 (8.6, 12.6), 10.6 (6.0, 12.4), and 12.4 (8.7, 13.0) hours, respectively. In the blinded study, median aggregate scores were higher in the gNO group compared to the P group at most time points, suggesting better lung health with gNO (median score range [min, max], 0–3.5 [0, 7]) vs. P (0–2.0 [0, 5] at end of study). In the substudy, median aggregate scores did not improve for lungs in the iNO group. However, both the gNO and iNO groups showed improvements in lung weight and LAPO2 compared to the P group. Conclusions: The data suggest that inclusion of gNO during EVLP may potentially prolong duration of organ stability and improve donor lung health, which warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalPulmonary Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Donor lungs
  • Ex vivo lung perfusion
  • Lung transplant
  • Nitric oxide
  • Transplantation suitability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Respiratory Care
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'A Randomized, Multicenter, Blinded Pilot Study Assessing the Effects of Gaseous Nitric Oxide in an Ex Vivo System of Human Lungs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this