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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / analysis*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / analysis
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase / analysis
  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Glutathione / analysis
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Disulfide / analysis
  • Glutathione Disulfide / metabolism
  • Glycogen / analysis*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / analysis*
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Organ Preservation / methods*
  • Perfusion / methods*
  • Portal Pressure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion / methods
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / analysis
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • Tissue Donors


  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glycogen
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione Disulfide