Short Oxygenated Warm Perfusion With Prostaglandin E1 Administration Before Cold Preservation as a Novel Resuscitation Method for Liver Grafts From Donors After Cardiac Death in a Rat In Vivo Model

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We previously demonstrated that short oxygenated warm perfusion (SOWP) prevented warm ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat livers from donors after cardiac death (DCDs) in an ex vivo model. In the present study, we aimed to examine the in vivo effects of SOWP and SOWP with prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) in DCD rat liver transplants.


We performed liver transplantation after 6-hour cold preservation using grafts retrieved from DCD rats, divided into nontreatment (NT), SOWP, and SOWP with PGE1 (SOWP + PG) treatment groups. The SOWP grafts were perfused with oxygenated buffer at 37°C for 30 minutes before cold preservation. Prostaglandin E1 was added to the SOWP + PG group perfusate. Eleven liver transplants from each group were performed to evaluate graft function and survival; 5 rats were used for data collection after 1-hour reperfusion, and 6 rats were used for the survival study. As a positive control, the same experiment was performed in a heart-beating donor group.


In both the SOWP and SOWP + PG groups, serum liver enzymes, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 levels, and cellular damage were significantly decreased compared with the NT group. In the SOWP + PG group, bile production and energy status were significantly improved compared with the NT group. The 4-week survival was 0% (0/6), 67% (4/6), 83% (5/6), and 100% (6/6) in the NT, SOWP, SOWP + PG, and heart-beating donor group, respectively.


Short oxygenated warm perfusion before cold preservation and the addition of PGE1 to SOWP were thus beneficial in an in vivo rat model.

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