The effect of anterograde persufflation on energy charge and hepatocyte function in donation after cardiac death livers unsuitable for transplant

Liver Transpl. 2014 Jun;20(6):698-704. doi: 10.1002/lt.23864.


Donation after cardiac death (DCD) livers are considered to be marginal organs for solid organ and cell transplantation. Low energy charge (EC) and low purine quantity within the liver parenchyma has been associated with poor outcome after liver transplantation. The aim of this work was to assess the effect of anterograde persufflation (A-PSF) using an electrochemical concentrator on DCD liver energy status and hepatocyte function. Organs utilized for research were DCD livers considered not suitable for transplant. Each liver was formally split, and the control non-persufflated (non-PSF) section was stored in University of Wisconsin (UW) solution at 4°C. The A-PSF liver section was immersed in UW solution on ice, and A-PSF was performed via the portal vein with 40% oxygen. Tissue samples were taken 2 hours after A-PSF from the A-PSF and control non-PSF liver sections for snap freezing. Purine analysis was performed with photodiode array detection. Hepatocytes were isolated from A-PSF and control non-PSF liver sections using a standard organs utilized for research were DCD livers considered not suitable for transplant collagenase perfusion technique. Hepatocyte function was assessed using mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity {3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-y1]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT)} and the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay for cell attachment. In DCD livers with <30% steatosis (n = 6), A-PSF increased EC from 0.197 ± 0.025 to 0.23 ± 0.035 (P = 0.04). In DCD livers with >30% steatosis (n = 4), A-PSF had no beneficial effect. After isolation (n=4, <30% steatosis), A-PSF was found to increase MTT from 0.92 ± 0.045 to 1.19 ± 0.55 (P < 0.001) and SRB from 2.53 ± 0.12 to 3.2 ± 0.95 (P < 0.001). In conclusion, A-PSF can improve the EC and function of isolated hepatocytes from DCD livers with <30% steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology
  • Aged
  • Allopurinol / pharmacology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Donor Selection
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Gases
  • Glutathione / pharmacology
  • Heart Diseases / mortality*
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Preservation / methods*
  • Organ Preservation Solutions / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Perfusion / methods*
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Raffinose / pharmacology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting


  • Gases
  • Insulin
  • Organ Preservation Solutions
  • Purines
  • University of Wisconsin-lactobionate solution
  • Allopurinol
  • Glutathione
  • Adenosine
  • Raffinose
  • Oxygen