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BACKGROUND: Currently, there is no consensus on which treatments should be a part of standard deceased-donor management to improve graft quality and transplantation outcomes. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of treatments of the deceased, solid-organ donor on graft function and survival after transplantation. METHODS: Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane, and were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials that compared deceased-donor treatment versus placebo or no treatment. RESULTS: A total of 33 studies were selected for this systematic review. Eleven studies were included for meta-analyses on three different treatment strategies. The meta-analysis on methylprednisolone treatment in liver donors (two studies, 183 participants) showed no effect of the treatment on rates of acute rejection. The meta-analysis on antidiuretic hormone treatment in kidney donors (two studies, 222 participants) indicates no benefit in the prevention of delayed graft function. The remaining meta-analyses (seven studies, 334 participants) compared the effects of 10 min of ischaemic preconditioning on outcomes after liver transplantation and showed that ischaemic preconditioning improved short-term liver function, but not long-term transplant outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that any particular drug treatment or any intervention in the deceased donor improves long-term graft or patient survival after transplantation.

Original publication




Journal article


Transplant Rev (Orlando)

Publication Date





194 - 206


Brain death, Deceased donor, Management, Organ, Systematic review, Treatment, Cadaver, Graft Survival, Humans, Organ Transplantation, Tissue Donors