Pancreatic Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury: Impact of Different Preservation Temperatures

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Pancreatic ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) can influence the results after transplantation. Temperature during ischemia can affect IRI. A temperature of 4°C is assumed as optimal for graft preservation. There are no data about the impact of different ischemia temperatures in pancreatic IRI.


Ischemia/reperfusion injury was induced in pancreatic tail segments (2-hour ischemia, 2-hour reperfusion), with rats (7/group) without ischemia served as control. Animals were randomized to the different experimental groups. To achieve the desired temperature (4, 18, or 37°C and 37°C control), pancreatic tail segments were superfused with temperated saline. After reperfusion, microcirculation was observed by intravital fluorescence microscopy. Functional capillary density (FCD), leukocyte adherence in post-capillary venules, and histological damage were analyzed.


In IRI groups, decrease of FCD 1 and 2 hours after reperfusion compared with baseline measurements was significant. Functional capillary density in 4°C was better as compared with 18 and 37°C after reperfusion. Lower adherent leukocytes were seen in 4 and 18°C, compared with 37°C and also to CO. In 4°C, histological damage was lower as compared with 18 and 37°C.


We could demonstrate that also in pancreatic IRI, tissue injury is temperature dependent. Compared with 37°C, although a protective effect is established already at 18°C, more protection is achieved with storage at 4°C. Our data suggest that 4°C has the best protective effect on pancreatic IRI.

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