The demand for liver transplantation (LT) exceeds supply, with rising waiting list mortality. Utilization of high-risk organs is low and a substantial number of procured livers are discarded. We report the first series of five transplants with rejected livers following viability assessment by normothermic machine perfusion of the liver (NMP-L). The evaluation protocol consisted of perfusate lactate, bile production, vascular flows, and liver appearance. All livers were exposed to a variable period of static cold storage prior to commencing NMP-L. Four organs were recovered from donors after circulatory death and rejected due to prolonged donor warm ischemic times; one liver from a brain-death donor was declined for high liver function tests (LFTs). The median (range) total graft preservation time was 798 (range 724-951) min. The transplant procedure was uneventful in every recipient, with immediate function in all grafts. The median in-hospital stay was 10 (range 6-14) days. At present, all recipients are well, with normalized LFTs at median follow-up of 7 (range 6-19) months. Viability assessment of high-risk grafts using NMP-L provides specific information on liver function and can permit their transplantation while minimizing the recipient risk of primary graft nonfunction. This novel approach may increase organ availability for LT.
Keywords: clinical research/practice; donors and donation: donor evaluation; donors and donation: extended criteria; liver allograft function/dysfunction; liver transplantation/hepatology; organ acceptance; organ perfusion and preservation; organ procurement and allocation.
© Copyright 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Transplantation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society of Transplant Surgeons.