Dr. James Guarrera – Liver machine preservation: clinical results

Dr. James Guarrera, Associate Professor of Surgery, Surgical Director of Adult Liver Transplantation, Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital, NY, USA

Building on the technology and experience of using hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) in kidney transplantation, Dr. James Guarrera and his team conducted two trials to evaluate the benefit of HMP in liver transplantation in both standard criteria and marginal livers. The current unmet need for donor livers has led to the increased use of marginal organs, which may have a higher incidence of primary non-function. Dr. Guarrera presents the results from both trials, which found HMP reduces early allograft dysfunction, biliary complications, and length of hospital stay and associated healthcare costs. These findings suggest that machine perfusion can reduce preservation-related complications and allow safer use of marginal livers with improved results. 

Machine perfusion of the liver has now become a clinical reality. The new portable LifePort Liver Transporter from Organ Recovery Systems will enable initiation of HMP at the donor recovery site, which will further reduce preservation-related allograft damage. In our studies, HMP resulted in fewer complications, reduction in biliary strictures and shorter hospital length of stay as well as early allograft dysfunction.