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Cryobiology. 2011 Apr;62(2):152-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Machine perfusion at 20°C reduces preservation damage to livers from non-heart beating donors.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Via Ferrata 9A, Pavia, Italy.


We previously reported that machine perfusion (MP) performed at 20°C enhanced the preservation of steatotic rat livers. Here, we tested whether rat livers retrieved 30 min after cardiac arrest (NHBDs) were better protected by MP at 20°C than with cold storage. We compared the recovery of livers from NHBDs with organs obtained from heart beating donors (HBDs) preserved by cold storage. MP technique: livers were perfused for 6h with UW-G modified at 20°C. Cold storage: livers were perfused in situ and preserved with UW solution at 4°C for 6h. Both MP and cold storage preserved livers were reperfused with Krebs-Heinselet buffer (2h at 37°C). AST and LDH release and mitochondrial glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) levels were evaluated. Parameters assessed included: bile production and biliary enzymes; tissue ATP; reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG); protein-SH group concentration. Livers preserved by MP at 20°C showed significantly lower hepatic damage at the end of reperfusion compared with cold storage. GDH release was significantly reduced and bile production, ATP levels, GSH/GSSG and protein-SH groups were higher in livers preserved by MP at 20°C than with cold storage. The best preserved morphology and high glycogen content was obtained with livers submitted to MP at 20°C. Liver recovery using MP at 20°C was comparable to recovery with HBDs. MP at 20°C improves cell survival and gives a better-quality of preservation for livers obtained from NHBDs and may provide a new method for the successful utilization of marginal livers.

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