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Transplant Res. 2013 Nov 27;2(1):19. doi: 10.1186/2047-1440-2-19.

Challenges in machine perfusion preservation for liver grafts from donation after circulatory death.

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  • 1Department of Innovative and Transplant Surgery, National Center for Child Health and Development, 2-10-1 Okura, Setagaya, Tokyo 157-8535, Japan. mtnnot@yahoo.co.jp.


Donation after circulatory death (DCD) is a promising solution to the critical shortage of donor graft tissue. Maintaining organ viability after donation until transplantation is essential for optimal graft function and survival. To date, static cold storage is the most widely used form of preservation in clinical practice. However, ischemic damage present in DCD grafts jeopardizes organ viability during cold storage, and whether static cold storage is the most effective method to prevent deterioration of organ quality in the increasing numbers of organs from DCD is unknown. Here we describe the historical background of DCD liver grafts and a new preservation method for experimental and clinical transplantation. To prevent ischemia-reperfusion injury in DCD liver grafts, a hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) technique has recently been developed and may be superior to static cold preservation. We present evidence supporting the need for improving liver perfusion performance and discuss how doing so will benefit liver transplantation recipients.

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