Normothermic machine perfusion of ischaemically damaged porcine kidneys with autologous, allogeneic porcine and human red blood cells

Merel B. F. Pool*, Loes Hartveld, Henri G. D. Leuvenink, Cyril Moers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Downloads (Pure)


In porcine kidney auto-transplant models, red blood cells (RBCs) are required for ex-vivo normothermic machine perfusion (NMP). As large quantities of RBCs are needed for NMP, utilising autologous RBCs would imply lethal exsanguination of the pig that is donor and recipient-to-be in the same experiment. The purpose of this study was to determine if an isolated porcine kidney can also be perfused with allogeneic porcine or human RBCs instead. Porcine kidneys, autologous and allogeneic blood were obtained from a local slaughterhouse. Human RBCs (O-pos), were provided by our transfusion laboratory. Warm ischaemia time was standardised at 20 minutes and subsequent hypothermic machine perfusion lasted 1.5–2.5 hours. Next, kidneys underwent NMP at 37°C during 7 hours with Williams’ Medium E and washed, leukocyte depleted RBCs of either autologous, allogeneic, or human origin (n = 5 per group). During perfusion all kidneys were functional and produced urine. No macroscopic adverse reactions were observed. Creatinine clearance during NMP was significantly higher in the human RBC group in comparison with the allogeneic group (P = 0.049) but not compared to the autologous group. The concentration of albumin in the urine was significantly higher in the human RBC group (P <0.001) compared to the autologous and allogeneic RBC group. Injury marker aspartate aminotransferase was significantly higher in the human RBC group in comparison with the allogeneic group (P = 0.040) but not in comparison with the autologous group. Renal histology revealed glomerular and tubular damage in all groups. Signs of pathological hyperfiltration and microvascular injury were only observed in the human RBC group. In conclusion, perfusion of porcine kidneys with RBCs of different origin proved technically feasible. However, laboratory analysis and histology revealed more damage in the human RBC group compared to the other two groups. These results indicate that the use of allogeneic RBCs is preferable to human RBCs in a situation where autologous RBCs cannot be used for NMP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0229566
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10-Mar-2020



Cite this