This is the first prospective clinical study to examine hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) for liver transplantation. Investigators used an early prototype of LifePort Liver Transporter to compare HMP to a matched group of transplanted static cold storage livers. Outcomes were recorded for 12 months post-transplant. Primary endpoints included mean incidences of primary non-function, early allograft dysfunction and patient and graft survival at 1 month and 1 year.
Results showed 50% fewer patients receiving HMP livers had biliary complications and a total of 25% of cold stored livers showed early allograft dysfunction compared with 5% of HMP livers (p=0.08). Data also showed a significantly lower length of hospital stay in patients receiving LifePort perfused livers than cold storage livers (10.9 ± 4.7 days vs. 15.3 ± 4.9 days; p=0.006).
The authors concluded that HMP is safe, may improve graft function and attenuates classical biochemical markers of liver preservation injury. The data warrant future large-scale multicenter studies of HMP in liver transplantation.
Guarrera JV, et al. Am J Transplant 2010;10:372–381.