Changes in liver core temperature during preservation and rewarming in human and porcine liver allografts

M. Hertl, T. K. Howard, J. A. Lowell, S. Shenoy, P. R.C. Harvey, S. M. Strasberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Liver core temperature during organ procurement, storage, and rewarming has not been reported in human orthotopic liver transplantations (OLT). We have shown in the rat that optimal temperature for liver storage is not 4°C but 0°C to 1°C. Therefore, a study was undertaken in humans and in pigs to determine the pattern of temperature change during OLT. The porcine studies were performed, because it was not possible to follow human grafts during the period that they were sterilely packaged. Temperature depression in humans was rapid during organ perfusion, remained stable during organ dissection, and decreased again slightly, when after excision, the organ was perfused again. Temperature depression during the period of perfusion with University of Wisconsin (UW) solution was curvilinear with the initial rapid temperature depression followed by a period of slower temperature depression. Volume perfused versus time was linear during these periods and the relationship between temperature depression and volume infused was curvilinear. At the time of packaging, 65 ± 12 minutes after start of cold perfusion, the liver core temperature was 5.7°C ± 1.3°C. Studies in the pig showed that it took 75 to 100 minutes for liver core temperature to decrease below 5°C, and core temperature reached a plateau at 1°C at 195 ± 75 minutes after packaging. During the rewarming period in humans, while vascular anastomoses were being constructed, there was a rapid linear increase in temperature from 0.8°C, when the graft was removed from the cold, to 17.2°C ± 3.1°C at 45.5 ± 4.4 minutes later, just before portal reperfusion commenced. These studies show that it takes only a short time to cool livers down to 10°C, but after flushing is stopped, temperature depression is markedly reduced, and ideal temperatures are not reached before packaging. Rewarming of livers during performance of vascular anastomoses is rapid and reaches temperatures at which substantial hepatic metabolism is occurring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalLiver Transplantation and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in liver core temperature during preservation and rewarming in human and porcine liver allografts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this