Normothermic Machine Perfusion Reduces Bile Duct Injury and Improves Biliary Epithelial Function in Rat Donor Livers

Sanna Op den Dries, Negin Karimian, Andrie C Westerkamp, Michael E Sutton, Michiel Kuipers, Janneke Wiersema-Buist, Petra J Ottens, Jeroen Kuipers, Ben N Giepmans, Henri G D Leuvenink, Ton Lisman, Robert J Porte

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BACKGROUND: Bile duct injury may occur during liver procurement and transplantation, especially in livers donated after circulatory death (DCD). Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) has been shown to reduce hepatic injury, compared to static cold storage (SCS). However, it is unknown whether NMP provides better preservation of bile ducts.

AIM: The aim of this study was to determine the impact of NMP on bile duct preservation in both DCD and non-DCD livers.

METHODS: DCD and non-DCD livers obtained from Lewis rats were preserved for 3h using either SCS or NMP, followed by 2h ex-vivo reperfusion.

RESULTS: Biomarkers of bile duct injury (γ-GT and LDH in bile) were lower in NMP preserved livers, compared to SCS preserved livers. Biliary bicarbonate concentration, reflecting biliary epithelial function, was 2-fold higher in NMP preserved livers (p<0.01). In parallel with this, pH of bile was significantly higher in NMP preserved livers (7.63±0.02 and 7.74±0.05, for non-DCD and DCD livers, respectively), compared with SCS (7.46±0.02 and 7.49±0.04, for non-DCD and DCD livers, respectively). Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of donor extrahepatic bile ducts demonstrated significantly decreased injury of the biliary epithelium of NMP preserved donor livers (including the loss of lateral interdigitations and mitrochondrial injury). Differences between NMP and SCS were most prominent in DCD livers.

CONCLUSION: Compared to conventional SCS, NMP provides superior preservation of bile duct epithelial cell function and morphology, especially in DCD donor livers. By reducing biliary injury, NMP could have an important impact on the utilization of DCD livers and outcome after transplantation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1005
Number of pages12
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2016



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