Hypothermic Oxygenated Machine Perfusion in Porcine Donation After Circulatory Determination of Death Liver Transplant

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BackgroundLivers from donation after circulatory determination-of-death (DCD) donors suffer ischemic injury during a preextraction period of cardiac arrest and are infrequently used for transplantation; they have the potential, however, to considerably expand the donor pool. We aimed to determine whether hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion would improve or further deteriorate the quality of these livers using a clinically relevant porcine model.MethodsDonor livers were subjected to 90 min of cardiac arrest and preserved at 4°C with either static cold storage using University of Wisconsin solution (CS, n=6) or oxygenated machine perfusion using University of Wisconsin machine perfusion solution and 25% physiological perfusion pressures (HMP, n=5). After 4 hr of preservation, livers were transplanted into recipient pigs, which were followed intensively for up to 5 days.ResultsFive-day survival was 0 in CS and 20% in HMP. Immediately after reperfusion, hepatocellular injury and function were improved in HMP versus CS. However, HMP grafts also demonstrated significant endothelial and Kupffer cell injury, and a progressive lesion developed 24 to 48 hr after reperfusion that led to death in all but one of the recipient animals.ConclusionsAlthough hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion performed using subphysiological perfusion pressures seems to offer some advantages over cold storage in the preservation of ischemically damaged livers, it simultaneously conditions endothelial and Kupffer cell injury that may ultimately lead to the failure of these grafts.

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