J Korean Med Assoc.  2006 Jun;49(6):502-506. 10.5124/jkma.2006.49.6.502.

Organ Donor Management

  • 1Department of Surgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Korea. kmhyj@smc.samsung.co.kr


With the advances in surgical techniques and the emergence of potent immunosuppressive drugs, transplantation has been performed more commonly as the treatment modality for the patients with end-stage diseases of most major organs. And, because of donor organ restriction, the proper management of brain-dead donors in intensive care unit (ICU) has been recognized as a critical determinant for a successful transplantation of the harvested organ. Moreover, the favorable clinical outcomes of the recipients are directly associated with the well-preserved organ function of the brain-dead donor, which can be accomplished by the maintenance of optimal perfusion. However, brain-death causes various and profound physiologic changes such as cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, or coagulation derangements. Therefore, for the maintenance of the organ from a brain-dead donor in a transplantable condition, invasive monitoring for hemodynamic stability, adequate ventilation support, and aggressive pharmacologic support including hormonal resuscitation to treat diabetes insipidus and to correct hormonal dysregulation are needed. This article reviews the pathophysiologic changes caused by brain death and the adequate management to preserve donor organs.


Brain death; Organ preservation; Transplantation

MeSH Terms

Brain Death
Diabetes Insipidus
Intensive Care Units
Organ Preservation
Tissue Donors*

Cited by  1 articles

Management and Evaluation Prior to Transplantation of Deceased Donor
Jong Hwan Jung, Sung Kwang Park, Sik Lee
J Korean Soc Transplant. 2014;28(2):51-58.    doi: 10.4285/jkstn.2014.28.2.51.


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2. Rosendale JD, Kauffman HM, McBride MA, Chobalewski FL, Zaroff JG, Rosengard BM, et al. Hormonal resuscitation yields more transplanted hearts, with improved early function. Transplantation. 2003. 75:1336.
3. Zaroff JG, Rosengard BR, Armstrong WF, Babcock WD, DAlessandro A, Young JB, et al. Consensus conference report: maximizing use of organs recovered from the cadaver donor: cardiac recommendations, March 28-29, 2001, Crystal City, Va. Circulation. 2002. 106:836–841.
4. Pennefather SH, Bullock RE, Mantle D, Dark JH. Use of low dose arginine vasopressin to support brain-dead organ donors. Transplantation. 1995. 59:58.
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