From "Gut Feeling" to Objectivity: Machine Preservation of the Liver as a Tool to Assess Organ Viability.

12 Mar 2018

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this review was to summarise how machine perfusion could contribute to viability assessment of donor livers. RECENT FINDINGS: In both hypothermic and normothermic machine perfusion, perfusate transaminase measurement has allowed pretransplant assessment of hepatocellular damage. Hypothermic perfusion permits transplantation of marginal grafts but as yet has not permitted formal viability assessment. Livers undergoing normothermic perfusion have been investigated using parameters similar to those used to evaluate the liver in vivo. Lactate clearance, glucose evolution and pH regulation during normothermic perfusion seem promising measures of viability. In addition, bile chemistry might inform on cholangiocyte viability and the likelihood of post-transplant cholangiopathy. SUMMARY: While the use of machine perfusion technology has the potential to reduce and even remove uncertainty regarding liver graft viability, analysis of large datasets, such as those derived from large multicenter trials of machine perfusion, are needed to provide sufficient information to enable viability parameters to be defined and validated .