An experimental rat model of ex vivo lung perfusion for the assessment of lungs regarding histopathological findings and apoptosis: low-potassium dextran vs. histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare histopathological findings and the degree of apoptosis among rat lungs preserved with low-potassium dextran (LPD) solution, histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) solution, or normal saline (NS) at two ischemia periods (6 h and 12 h) using an experimental rat model of ex vivo lung perfusion. METHODS Sixty Wistar rats were anesthetized, randomized, and submitted to antegrade perfusion via pulmonary artery with one of the preservation solutions. Following en bloc extraction, the heart-lung blocks were preserved for 6 h or 12 h at 4 ºC and then reperfused with homologous blood for 60 min in an ex vivo lung perfusion system. At the end of the reperfusion, fragments of the middle lobe were extracted and processed for histopathological examination. The parameters evaluated were congestion, alveolar edema, alveolar hemorrhage, inflammatory infiltrate, and interstitial infiltrate. The degree of apoptosis was assessed using the TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling method. RESULTS The histopathological examination showed that all of the lungs preserved with NS presented alveolar edema after 12 h of ischemia. There were no statistically significant differences among the groups in terms of the degree of apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS In this study, the histopathological and apoptosis findings were similar with the use of either LPD or HTK solutions, whereas the occurrence of edema was significantly more common with the use of NS.

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