The evolution of donation after circulatory death donor kidney repair in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The increasing reliance on marginal donors has driven research to investigate ways to repair and improve the quality of kidneys for transplantation. Normothermic perfusion technologies provide an opportunity for improved preservation, organ assessment and resuscitation/repair of damaged kidneys. This review describes the evolution of normothermic perfusion in kidney transplantation in the United Kingdom.

Recent findings

One hour of normothermic perfusion can be used to restore function and improve early graft function of extended criteria donor kidneys. A large multicentre trial is investigating the impact of normothermic perfusion on delayed graft function in a series of donation after circulatory death kidneys. Normothermic perfusion is also a platform for the delivery of therapies to the kidney to upregulate and modulate repair mechanisms or prevent injurious processes, such as activation of caspase-3 with the delivery of caspase-3 targeted small interfering RNAs. Normothermic perfusion can also be used to assess the quality and anatomical structure of a kidney to judge suitability for transplantation.

Summary

Normothermic perfusion technology is a useful adjunct in kidney transplantation. It can improve early graft function by upregulating protective mechanisms. It also has the advantage of providing a functional assessment of the kidney and as a platform for the delivery of therapies or graft manipulation to target ischaemia reperfusion injury or the immune response. This technology can be used to expand the organ donor pool and prevent the unnecessary discard of kidneys.

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