Background: We tested whether an injured lung graft from category-3 donation after cardiac death donor could be reconditioned with an ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) system by intrabronchial diluted surfactant lavage before transplantation. Methods: In a pig model, cardiac arrest was induced by deconnecting from the ventilator. Left lung injury was done by intrabronchial instillation of 1 mL/kg pepsin + HCl. After retrieval, the heart-lung block was stored at 4 C for 2 h. In the treated group, transplantation was performed after reconditioning with intrabronchial diluted surfactant lavage in EVLP system. Results: During EVLP, surfactant group showed better oxygenation and lower pulmonary vascular resistance. After transplantation, better oxygenation, lower mean pulmonary artery pressure, and lower lung edema were observed in surfactant group. Lower blood IL-1 beta and IL-6 cytokine levels were measured in the surfactant group. In bronchoalveolar lavage, the percentage of neutrophils, IL-1 beta and IL-6 cytokine levels, amount of protein, and neutrophil infiltration in the lung tissue at the end of the experiment were significantly lower in the surfactant group. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate the feasibility of reconditioning and transplantation of an acutely damaged lung graft due to aspiration from a category-3 DCD donor. Implementation of an EVLP system is an efficacious tool to recondition and assess a questionable graft before transplantation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.