• David Hartell

Updates on our international deceased donation study - DePPaRT

In 2015, the CNTRP helped to support the development and launch of the large international study in deceased organ donation called DePPaRT - “Death Prediction and Physiology after Removal of Therapy”. The study, led by Dr. Sonny Dhanani, aimed to recruit 500 patients at 14 sites across Canada, and several sites internationally, including in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. As we move into the third year of the study, we thought this would be a good opportunity to give everyone a quick update on the progress of the DePPaRT study and the team's larger research program.

The DePPaRT study was designed to document the physiology of the dying process and to develop a tool that will allow doctors to predict how long it will take patients to die after the removal of life sustaining therapy. A qualitative component of the study investigated the decision-making surrounding organ donation and how family members felt when their loved ones became organ donors or were unable to proceed to donation. Results from both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this study will be invaluable in informing DCD policies across Canada.


  • Final study enrolment is 654 (378 CAD, 233 CZR, 43 NLD) patients from 20 sites; Consent rate 94% (45 refusals/690 asked).

  • Data queries and cleaning have been completed for over 80% of patients. A huge THANK YOU to all the research coordinators who have been working so hard to help us with this process.

  • Adjudication of the collected vital sign waveforms has begun and we expect this process to be completed by December. As a result, there will be a number of new collaborators joining the DePPaRT team.

  • A manuscript entitled, “Engaging Family Partners in Deceased Organ Donation Research - A reflection on one team's experience,” was recently accepted by the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia. We are extremely proud of this paper which was co-created by Amanda van Beinum, PhD(c) and Heather Talbot (DePPaRT Patient Family Partner).

  • For the Qualitative Study, 48 families agreed to be re-contacted. Of these, 28 (58%) consented to be interviewed and those interviews have been completed. 12 (25%) families were lost to follow up, and 8 (17%) declined to participate. The study team has begun the process of qualitative analysis and plans to present a preliminary summary of initial thematic findings at the CST Canadian Transplant Summit in October.

  • Enrolment for the Neuro pilot substudy (inclusion of EEG and TCD monitoring on 20 DePPaRT patients) at the London Health Sciences Centre and Victoria Hospital is complete, with data analysis underway.

  • Along with co-investigators Dr. Maureen Meade and Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman, we have received funding from the CNTRP Astellas Research Innovation Grant Competition to complete the study, “Exploration of the impact of donor hemodynamics during donation after circulatory determination of death on patient and graft outcomes in kidney recipients”, the protocol from which is currently undergoing REB review.

  • Abstracts related to DePPaRT that were submitted by Amanda van Beinum, PhD(c) and Dr Nathan Scales have been accepted for presentation at the CST Canadian Transplant Summit in October and CCCF in November, respectively.

  • Our fantastic planning meeting held last November 6&7 as a pre-meeting workshop of the CNTRP Annual Meeting at Mont Tremblant (photo above) resulted in:

  • New partnerships with families and patients: Don Brinklow, a heart transplant recipient and his wife and Patti attended our meeting and have agreed to join Heather Talbot as patient, family partners! Thanks so much to Heather, Don and Patti for agreeing to work with us to help guide the direction of our new projects!

  • Continued national and international research collaborations that have lead to multiple grant submissions, including a PSI submission, lead by Dr. Teneille Gofton and Dr. Marat Slessarev, to fund a full study of 100 patients to provide the first large empiric neuro dataset to inform DCD practices in Canada and worldwide and a CIHR submission, co-lead by Dr. Andrew Seely, to create and implement a “Donation Advisor” tool.

  • New collaborations including work with Claudio Sole, PhD(c), and Dr. Andrea Lodi, Polytechnique Montréal, to use machine learning analysis of vital sign waveforms to predict hemodynamic trajectories during WLST

As the team finishes their data analysis and begins the process of publishing and presenting DePPaRT results, and begin to embark on all the new research projects borne from DePPaRT, the CNTRP wants to reaffirm our sincere appreciation and gratitude of this team's continued dedication to this important work!

#DePPaRT #deceaseddonation #sonnydhanani #organdonation

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