Preliminary Single-Center Canadian Experience of Human Normothermic Ex Vivo Liver Perfusion: Results of a Clinical Trial.
Bral M., Gala-Lopez B., Bigam D., Kneteman N., Malcolm A., Livingstone S., Andres A., Emamaullee J., Russell L., Coussios C., West LJ., Friend PJ., Shapiro AMJ.
After extensive experimentation, outcomes of a first clinical normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) liver trial in the United Kingdom demonstrated feasibility and clear safety, with improved liver function compared with standard static cold storage (SCS). We present a preliminary single-center North American experience using identical NMP technology. Ten donor liver grafts were procured, four (40%) from donation after circulatory death (DCD), of which nine were transplanted. One liver did not proceed because of a technical failure with portal cannulation and was discarded. Transplanted NMP grafts were matched 1:3 with transplanted SCS livers. Median NMP was 11.5 h (range 3.3-22.5 h) with one DCD liver perfused for 22.5 h. All transplanted livers functioned, and serum transaminases, bilirubin, international normalized ratio, and lactate levels corrected in NMP recipients similarly to controls. Graft survival at 30 days (primary outcome) was not statistically different between groups on an intent-to-treat basis (p = 0.25). Intensive care and hospital stays were significantly more prolonged in the NMP group. This preliminary experience demonstrates feasibility as well as potential technical risks of NMP in a North American setting and highlights a need for larger, randomized studies.