The aim of the study was to investigate whether hypothermic oxygenated liver perfusion after cold liver preservation resuscitated metabolic parameters and whether this treatment had a benefit for liver viability upon reperfusion.
We preserved rat livers either by cold storage (UW) for 10 h, or by perfusion for 3 h (oxygenated modified UW) after 10 h cold storage. We assessed viability of livers after preservation and after ischemic rewarming + normothermic reperfusion ex vivo. Ten hour cold storage reduced mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase and metabolically depleted the livers. Oxygenated perfusion after cold storage resulted in uploaded cellular energy charge and oxidized mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase. Reperfusion after 10 h cold storage increased formation of superoxid anions, release of cytosolic LDH, lipid peroxidation, caspase activities and led to disruption of sinusoidal endothelial cells. In contrast, reperfusion after 10 h cold storage + 3 h hypothermic oxygenated perfusion resulted in no changes of lipid peroxidation, bile flow, energy charge, total glutathione, LDH release and of caspase activation, as compared to fresh resected livers.
This study demonstrates, that a metabolically depleted liver due to cold storage can be energy recharged by short-termed cold machine perfusion. The machine perfused graft exhibited improved viability and functional integrity.