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Static Cold Storage (SCS) injures the bile duct, while the effect of Normothermic Machine Perfusion (NMP) is unknown. In a sub-study of the COPE trial on liver NMP, we investigated the impact of preservation type on histological bile duct injury score (BDIS). Transplants with at least one bile duct biopsy, either at end of preservation or 1 h post-reperfusion, were considered. BDIS was determined by assessing peribiliary glands injury, stromal and mural loss, haemorrhage, and thrombosis. A bivariate linear model compared BDIS (estimate, CI) between groups. Sixty-five transplants and 85 biopsies were analysed. Twenty-three grafts were preserved with SCS and 42 with NMP, with comparable baseline characteristics except for a shorter cold ischemic time in NMP. The BDIS increased over time regardless of preservation type (p = 0.04). The BDIS estimate was higher in NMP [8.02 (7.40-8.65)] than in SCS [5.39 (4.52-6.26), p < 0.0001] regardless of time. One patient in each group developed ischemic cholangiopathy, with a BDIS of 6 for the NMP-preserved liver. In six other NMP grafts, BDIS ranged 7-12 without development of ischemic cholangiopathy. In conclusion, BDIS increases over time, and the higher BDIS in NMP did not increase ischemic cholangiopathy. Thus, BDIS may overestimate this risk after liver NMP.

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Journal article


Transpl Int

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bile duct injury, ischemic cholangiopathy, liver transplantation, liver viability assessment, normothermic machine perfusion, Humans, Perfusion, Bile Ducts, Reperfusion, Biopsy, Liver