Routine End-ischemic Hypothermic Oxygenated Machine Perfusion in Liver Transplantation From Donors After Brain Death: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ann Surg. 2023 Nov 1;278(5):662-668. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000006055. Epub 2023 Jul 27.


Objective: To assess whether end-ischemic hypothermic oxygenated machine perfusion (HOPE) is superior to static cold storage (SCS) in preserving livers procured from donors after brain death (DBD).

Background: There is increasing evidence of the benefits of HOPE in liver transplantation, but predominantly in the setting of high-risk donors.

Methods: In this randomized clinical trial, livers procured from DBDs were randomly assigned to either end-ischemic dual HOPE for at least 2 hours or SCS (1:3 allocation ratio). The Model for Early Allograft Function (MEAF) was the primary outcome measure. The secondary outcome measure was 90-day morbidity (ClinicalTrials. gov, NCT04812054).

Results: Of the 104 liver transplantations included in the study, 26 were assigned to HOPE and 78 to SCS. Mean MEAF was 4.94 and 5.49 in the HOPE and SCS groups ( P =0.24), respectively, with the corresponding rates of MEAF >8 of 3.8% (1/26) and 15.4% (12/78; P =0.18). Median Comprehensive Complication Index was 20.9 after transplantations with HOPE and 21.8 after transplantations with SCS ( P =0.19). Transaminase activity, bilirubin concentration, and international normalized ratio were similar in both groups. In the case of donor risk index >1.70, HOPE was associated with significantly lower mean MEAF (4.92 vs 6.31; P =0.037) and lower median Comprehensive Complication Index (4.35 vs 22.6; P =0.050). No significant differences between HOPE and SCS were observed for lower donor risk index values.

Conclusion: Routine use of HOPE in DBD liver transplantations does not seem justified as the clinical benefits are limited to high-risk donors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Brain Death
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Liver
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Organ Preservation
  • Perfusion
  • Tissue Donors

Associated data