The Effect of Nebulized Albuterol on Donor Oxygenation

05:42 EDT 2nd April 2015 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of albuterol versus placebo with the following specific aims: a) Treatment of brain dead organ donors with albuterol will reduce pulmonary edema, improve donor oxygenation, and increase the number of lungs available for transplantation, b) Developing a blood test to predict the development of primary graft dysfunction in lung transplant recipients, and c) treating brain dead organ donors with albuterol will decrease markers of primary graft dysfunction and lead to improved lung transplant recipient outcomes and to higher rates of lungs suitable for transplantation.


The donor lung utilization rate in the United States remains less than 15%, and the demand for donor lungs far exceeds the available supply. The most common reasons for failure to utilize donor lungs are donor hypoxemia and/or pulmonary infiltrates. Since pulmonary edema is a common, reversible cause of hypoxemia and infiltrates in patients with brain injury, strategies to treat pulmonary edema in organ donors should lead to improved donor oxygenation and higher rates of donor lung utilization. Inhaled beta-2 agonists increase the rate of alveolar fluid clearance and reduce pulmonary edema in both animal and human lungs. In addition, our group has recently reported that the majority of human donor lungs that are rejected for transplantation have measurable pulmonary edema and respond to beta-2 agonists with increased rates of alveolar fluid clearance. Based on this compelling scientific evidence, we propose to test the efficacy of an inhaled beta-2 agonist to increase the rate of alveolar fluid clearance and reduce pulmonary edema in brain dead organ donors with the following specific aims:

Specific Aim 1: To test the effect of aerosolized albuterol on donor oxygenation in a multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in 500 brain dead organ donors managed over a 2 year period by the California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN).

Hypothesis 1a: Treatment of brain dead organ donors with aerosolized albuterol will improve donor oxygenation and increase the donor lung utilization rate compared to treatment with placebo.

Hypothesis 1b: Treatment of brain dead organ donors with aerosolized albuterol will reduce the severity of pulmonary edema in procured lungs compared to treatment with placebo.

Specific Aim 2: To develop and validate a panel of biological markers that can predict and diagnose acute lung injury due to primary graft dysfunction in lung transplant recipients.

Hypothesis 2a: A panel of plasma biological markers measured in brain dead organ donors that includes markers of inflammation, coagulation, endothelial injury and lung epithelial injury will predict the development of primary graft dysfunction in the lung recipient.

Hypothesis 2b: Treatment of brain dead organ donors with inhaled beta-2 agonists will lead to reductions in levels of a panel of biological markers of inflammation, coagulation, endothelial injury, and lung epithelial injury that will be associated with increased donor lung utilization and improved recipient outcomes.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Brain Death


Albuterol, Saline


California Transplant Donor Network
United States




Vanderbilt University

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A racemic mixture with a 1:1 ratio of the r-isomer, levalbuterol, and s-albuterol. It is a short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist with its main clinical use in ASTHMA.

A state of prolonged irreversible cessation of all brain activity, including lower brain stem function with the complete absence of voluntary movements, responses to stimuli, brain stem reflexes, and spontaneous respirations. Reversible conditions which mimic this clinical state (e.g., sedative overdose, hypothermia, etc.) are excluded prior to making the determination of brain death. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp348-9)

A genus of HALOBACTERIACEAE distinguished from other genera in the family by the presence of specific derivatives of TGD-2 polar lipids. Haloarcula are found in neutral saline environments such as salt lakes, marine salterns, and saline soils.

A reduction in brain oxygen supply due to ANOXEMIA (a reduced amount of oxygen being carried in the blood by HEMOGLOBIN), or to a restriction of the blood supply to the brain, or both. Severe hypoxia is referred to as anoxia, and is a relatively common cause of injury to the central nervous system. Prolonged brain anoxia may lead to BRAIN DEATH or a PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE. Histologically, this condition is characterized by neuronal loss which is most prominent in the HIPPOCAMPUS; GLOBUS PALLIDUS; CEREBELLUM; and inferior olives.

A family of gram-negative, moderately halophilic bacteria in the order Oceanospirillales. Members of the family have been isolated from temperate and Antarctic saline lakes, solar salt facilities, saline soils, and marine environments.

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