Preservation of Steatotic Livers: A Comparison Between Cold Storage and Machine Perfusion Preservation

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Liver grafts are frequently discarded due to steatosis. Steatotic livers can be classified as suboptimal and deteriorate rapidly during hypothermic static preservation, often resulting in graft nonfunction. Hypothermic machine perfusion (MP) has been introduced for preservation of donor livers instead of cold storage (CS), resulting in superior preservation outcomes. The aim of this study was to compare CS and MP for preservation of the steatotic donor rat liver. Liver steatosis was induced in male Wistar rats by a choline-methionine-deficient diet. After 24 hours hypothermic CS using the University of Wisconsin solution (UW) or MP using UW-Gluconate (UW-G), liver damage (liver enzymes, perfusate flow, and hyaluronic acid clearance) and liver function (bile production, ammonia clearance, urea production, oxygen consumption, adenosine triphosphate [ATP] levels) were assessed in an isolated perfused rat liver model. Furthermore, liver biopsies were visualized by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Animals developed 30 to 60% steatosis. Livers preserved by CS sustained significantly more damage as compared to MP. Bile production, ammonia clearance, urea production, oxygen consumption, and ATP levels were significantly higher after MP as compared to CS. These results were confirmed by histology. In conclusion, MP improves preservation results of the steatotic rat liver, as compared to CS. Liver Transpl 13:497–504, 2007. © 2007 AASLD.

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