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Avoiding Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Liver Transplantation

Yixi Zhang*1,2,3, Changjun Huang*1,2,3, Weiqiang Ju*1,2,3, Qiang Zhao1,2,3, Maogen Chen1,2,3, Linhe Wang1,2,3, Dongping Wang1,2,3, Linwei Wu1,2,3, Zebin Zhu4, Shanzhou Huang5, Zhiheng Zhang1,2,3, Caihui Zhu1,2,3, Rongxing Xie1,2,3, Yinghua Chen1,2,3, Anbin Hu1,2,3, Xiaofeng Zhu1,2,3, Zhiyong Guo1,2,3, Xiaoshun He1,2,3
* These authors contributed equally

Abstract

Currently, ex situ machine perfusion is a burgeoning technique that provides a better preservation method for donor organs than conventional static cold preservation (0–4 °C). A continuous blood supply to organs using machine perfusion from procurement and preservation to implantation facilitates complete prevention of ischemia reperfusion injury and permits ex situ functional assessment of donor livers before transplantation. In this manuscript, we provide a step-by-step ischemia-free liver transplantation protocol in which an ex situ normothermic machine perfusion apparatus is used for pulsatile perfusion through the hepatic artery and continuous perfusion of the portal vein from human donor livers to recipients. In the perfusion period, biochemical analysis of the perfusate is conducted to assess the metabolic activity of the liver, and a liver biopsy is also performed to evaluate the degree of injury. Ischemia-free liver transplantation is a promising method to avoid ischemia-reperfusion injury and may potentially increase the donor pool for transplantation.

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