Methods to monitor the status of a graft prior to transplantation are highly desirable to avoid unnecessary surgical interventions and follow-up treatments and to optimize the clinical outcome as delayed graft function may lead to costly and lengthy follow-up treatments or even organ loss. As a promising step in this direction we present a method which combines the use of fine needle biopsies, the staining of living cells with dyes suitable to monitor mitochondrial status/cellular integrity, and live confocal real-time analysis.This approach provides information about the functional and structural intactness of an organ within a few minutes. To confirm the feasibility of this approach, we recently published a pilot study using rodent kidneys. The results demonstrated that this method is suitable to monitor organ damage caused by ischemia or short periods of reperfusion. This procedure required minimal time for sample preparation and data acquisition and is suitable for recording damage resulting from unphysiological stress to the organ.
Keywords: Biopsy; Kidney; Real-time live confocal microscopy.