Extended normothermic extracorporeal perfusion of isolated human liver after warm ischaemia: A preliminary report

Rinaldo Bellomo, Bruno Marino, Graeme Starkey, Michael Fink, Bao Zhong Wang, Glenn M. Eastwood, Leah Peck, Helen Young, Shane Houston, Alison Skene, Helen Opdam, Robert Jones

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Donation after circulatory death (DCD) livers are at markedly increased risk of primary graft dysfunction and biliary tract ischaemia. Normothermic extracorporeal liver perfusion (NELP) may increase the ability to transplant DCD livers and may allow their use for artificial extracorporeal liver support of patients with fulminant liver failure. Objective: We conducted two proof-of-concept experiments using human livers after DCD to assess the feasibility and functional efficacy of NELP over an extended period. Methods: We applied extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, parenteral nutrition, separate hepatic artery and portal vein perfusion and physiological perfusion pressures to two livers obtained after DCD. Results: We achieved NELP and evidence of liver function (bile production, paracetamol removal and maintenance of normal lactate levels) in both livers; one for 24 hours and the other for 43 hours. Histological examination showed areas of patchy ischaemia but preserved biliary ducts and canaliculi. Conclusions: Our experiments justify further investigations of the feasibility and efficacy of extended DCD liver preservation by ex-vivo perfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

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