Novel strategy to decrease reperfusion injuries and improve function of cold-preserved livers using normothermic ex vivo liver perfusion machine

Babak Banan, Zhenyu Xiao, Rao Watson, Min Xu, Jianluo Jia, Gundumi A. Upadhya, Thalachallour Mohanakumar, Yiing Lin, William Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Normothermic extracorporeal liver perfusion (NELP) can decrease ischemia/reperfusion injury to the greatest degree when cold ischemia time is minimized. Warm perfusion of cold-stored livers results in hepatocellular damage, sinusoidal endothelial cell (SEC) dysfunction, and Kupffer cell activation. However, the logistics of organ procurement mandates a period of cold preservation before NELP. The aim of this study was to determine the beneficial effects of gradual rewarming of cold-stored livers by placement on NELP. Three female porcine livers were used for each group. In the immediate NELP group, procured livers were immediately placed on NELP for 8 hours. In the cold NELP group, livers were cold-stored for 4 hours followed by NELP for 4 hours. In rewarming groups, livers were cold-stored for 4 hours, then gradually rewarmed in different durations to 38C and kept on NELP for an additional 4 hours. For comparison purposes, the last 4 hours of NELP runs were considered to be the evaluation phase. Immediate NELP livers had significantly lower concentrations of liver transaminases, hyaluronic acid, and β-galactosidase and had higher bile production compared to the other groups. Rewarming livers had significantly lower concentrations of hyaluronic acid and β-galactosidase compared to the cold NELP livers. In addition, there was a significant decline in international normalized ratio values, improved bile production, reduced biliary epithelial cell damage, and improved cholangiocyte function. Thus, if a NELP machine is not available at the procurement site and livers will need to undergo a period of cold preservation, a gradual rewarming protocol before NELP may greatly reduce damages that are associated with reperfusion. In conclusion, gradual rewarming of cold-preserved livers upon NELP can minimize the hepatocellular damage, Kupffer cell activation, and SEC dysfunction. Liver Transpl 22:333-343, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-343
Number of pages11
JournalLiver Transplantation
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

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