Sequence of Reperfusion Influences Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury and Primary Graft Function Following Porcine Liver Transplantation

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The impact of 3 different reperfusion sequences following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in pigs were evaluated. The reperfusion technique commonly performed is primary portal in order to shorten warm ischemic times (WITs). Experimental and clinical data, usually comparing 2 out of 3 possible reperfusion sequences, provide controversial results. OLT was performed in 24 pigs randomized into 3 groups: primary arterial (A), simultaneous (SIM), and primary portal (P) reperfusion. Hemodynamics were continuously monitored and reperfusion injury and primary graft function were assessed by standard serum parameters, histopathological findings, immunohistochemistry for heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), and heat shock protein 70 (HSP 70). Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γGT) following reperfusion were significantly increased for group A when compared to groups SIM and P. Hemodynamics showed significant differences after reperfusion compared to physiological data; differences in group comparisons were not significant. The bile production/100 g liver/hr was significantly higher for group SIM (1.15 mL) compared to group P (0.66 mL) and group A (0.62 mL). Histology and immunohistochemistry significantly correlated with functional results and outcome. Histological score was best for group SIM and worst for group A. HSP 70, being visualized mainly in the hepatocytes, showed higher expression for groups SIM and P. Inversely, HO-1, found in perisinusoidal cells, showed highest expression after primary arterial reperfusion. In conclusion, although associated with a 10-minute longer warm ischemic time, simultaneous reperfusion causes the least reperfusion injury with superior primary transplant function. Primary arterial reperfusion showed the worst overall outcome and highest degree of HO-1 expression.

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