Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP), also known as “Lung in a Box“, simulates normal body conditions and keeps lungs functioning while outside the body.
EVLP gives the transplant team two major advantages:
Firstly, it allows the surgeons to treat unusable lungs for such diseases like pneumonia or conditions like lung embolisms (clots) before they are transplanted. This saves lungs from being thrown away.
Secondly, the University of Alberta Hospital has the largest geographic catchment area in North America and Europe. EVLP allows donated lungs to stay viable longer outside the body and travel from as far away as Quebec.
EVLP is named as one of the top ten medical inventions by the Cleveland Clinic. Future uses of EVLP could include treatment of pneumonia, edema, and lung collapse (atelectasis).
A Nature of Things documentary on the U of A Transplant program (1 hour)