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Transplant Proc. 2005 Jan-Feb;37(1):332-4.

Hypothermic machine perfusion of the liver and the critical balance between perfusion pressures and endothelial injury.

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Surgery Research Laboratory, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) provides better protection against cold ischemic injury than cold storage in marginal donor kidneys. Also, in liver transplantation a switch from static cold storage to HMP could be beneficial as it would allow longer preservation times and the use of marginal donors. A critical question concerning application of HMP in liver preservation is the crucial balance between perfusion pressure and occurrence of endothelial injury. Rat livers were cold-perfused for 24 hours to study perfusion pressures for both hepatic artery and portal vein. Cold storage served as control and was compared to HMP-preserved livers using a mean arterial perfusion pressure of 25 mm Hg and a portal perfusion pressure of 4 mm Hg (25% of normothermic liver circulation) and to HMP at 50 mm Hg and 8 mm Hg perfusion, respectively (50% of normothermic liver circulation). UW solution was enriched with 14.9 micromol/L propidium iodide (PI) to stain for dead cells and with an additional 13.5 micromol/L acridine orange to stain for viable hepatocytes. A low PI-positive cell count was found using HMP at 25% of normal circulation compared to cold storage. The PI count was high for the HMP group perfused at just 50% of normal circulation compared to HMP at 25% and compared to cold storage. In summary, for liver HMP, perfusion at 25% showed complete perfusion with minimal cellular injury. HMP using perfusion pressures of 25 mm Hg for the hepatic artery and 4 mm Hg for the portal vein is feasible without induction of endothelial injury.

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