The Future of Heart Procurement with Donation after Circulatory Death: Current Practice and Opportunities for Advancement

Heart Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) has the potential to significantly increase the number of patients benefitting from heart transplantation. However, the expansion of DCD heart transplantation is currently limited by unanswered questions pertaining to best practices in DCD heart procurement. Additionally, significant variability exists within regulatory frameworks, professional guidelines, and published practices of DCD procurement processes. Here we describe the current practice and outstanding questions related to fundamental aspects of DCD heart procurement, including donor selection, premortem donor intervention, ischemic definitions, confirmation of circulatory death, and techniques for heart procurement and preservation.