General, Research, Technology

How long can transplant organs be outside the body?

As we all know, in modern medicineorgan transplantation has been used for a long time, which saves many lives. Transplantology is one of the key and most difficult areas in modern medicine, which requires an extremely important factor - time. Due to the ultrafast death of healthy tissues, it is important for specialists to know what period of time these or other organs can be located outside the body, which can subsequently be transplanted to a needy person. Do you know about them?

Depending on the species, organs can be outside the body from several hours to one and a half days

Preparation of organs for transplantation

The organ transplant process directly depends onprofessional qualities of specialists and the body itself. Currently, there are several types of organ transplants for humans, which can be carried out either from oneself or from a genetically identical person, as well as from animals of other species. During the preparation of an organ for transplantation, a team of clinicians must correctly remove the organ from the body and prepare it for transportation, which can take a considerable amount of time and significantly affect the possibility of organ transplantation. According to an article published on, modern technology allows you to keep an organ viable from 4 to 36 hours, depending on the organ itself.

According to the Joint Organ Exchange Network(UNOS), the most frequently transplanted organs are the kidneys, then the liver, heart, and lungs. After removal of the organ for transplantation, it is washed with a special “preserving” solution and placed in a cryogenic storage immediately after collection in order to prevent its defeat by microorganisms. It would seem that there are no germs - no problems? If it works with our food in a refrigerator, then with organs everything is much more complicated. At normal body temperature, cells exchange chemicals through their membranes, but in cold conditions, cellular metabolism decreases significantly until it stops completely. For this reason, the cells “swell” due to excess accumulated fluid, which leads to serious damage to the organ itself.

To maintain the viability of the body using a special nutrient solution

See also: How much are human organs?

How does an organ transplant take place?

After placing the organ for transplantation insupporting solution, the extracted organ is placed in the refrigerator. Currently, it is believed that the most “rapidly deteriorating” organ is the heart, which loses its viability in 4-6 hours in refrigerated conditions. After this period of time, the functions of the heart cells are disrupted, causing an increase in the risks of malfunctioning in the recipient.

If the heart is the weakest organ, thenthe kidneys, in this case, are more adapted to the lack of blood flow. The removed kidneys are able to remain viable for 24-36 hours under the conditions of a cryochamber, which is the longest storage time of organs outside the body compared to other organs for transplantation. So, human lungs are able to “live” for 6-8 hours, and the liver is stored up to about 12 hours, provided that it is provided with the necessary storage conditions.

At this stage in the development of medicine, scientists are alreadyhave developed new methods for the conservation of organs and tissues, which can further extend their viability. One of these methods is perfusion, which involves connecting the extracted organ to a special machine that pumps oxygen-rich nutrients through organ tissues, similar to our heart.

Due to the intake of nutrients in the body and the removal of decay products, perfusion significantly prolongs the life of the tissues of the body

Do you think experts can createnew methods of organ storage or is it not required due to the development of engineering of artificial organs? Share your opinion on our Telegram channel or on the Yandex.Zen channel.

Despite what is currently underwayA large number of disputes and studies regarding the use of perfusion, it is this method that gives great hope for a much greater increase in the vitality of organs that are outside the body.