A method of transporting the isolated dog heart for periods of up to 6 hours is described. It consists essentially of flush-cooling the heart with a suitable water-based solution at 4-6° C. followed by storage in a specially designed portable container which maintains the temperature of the heart at 4-6° C. The viability of the hearts was tested by orthotopic transplantation. Of nine hearts so stored (six for 6 hours), all supported the recipient circulation immediately after transplantation, with a mean systemic arterial pressure of 70 to 100 mm. Hg and a mean max. dp/dt of the left ventricular pressure of 1,050 mm. Hg/second without catecholamine stimulation. A comparable group of hearts flush-cooled in the same way but stored in ice after the manner of the method used for kidney transport was markedly inferior in performance to those stored at 4-6° C. Some of the limitations of non-perfusion methods of storing the heart are discussed.
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