April 23, 2015, Vienna, Austria: A new device has demonstrated it has the potential to enhance the viability of donor livers for transplantation. Results revealed today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015 show that the transportable machine perfusion (MP) Airdrive® is able to effectively maintain the quality of livers derived from donation after circulatory death (DCD).
Many centers are reluctant to use DCD livers since they might jeopardize graft function post-transplantation. Contrary to 'classical' heart-beating donors (HBD), livers from DCDs undergo an unavoidable period of warm ischemia from circulatory arrest until the start of preservation, resulting in parenchymal lesions (i.e. hepatocytes) and direct ischemic injury to the cholangiocytes and/or damage to the arterioles of the peribiliary vascular plexus.
The main consequences of such ischemic insult are a higher risk of Primary Non-Function (PNF) - a complication that causes death in the absence of a rapid re-transplantation, and a high incidence of biliary complications - the well-known Achilles' heel of liver transplantation. Overall rate of biliary complications is 29% (range: 11%-53%) for DCD, relative to 17% (9%-22%) for HBD recipients.
However, the present results point to the potential of the MP Airdrive® to effectively preserve and improve the quality of these livers, making them viable for transplant use and therefore potentially expanding the donor pool considerably.
The study aimed to determine whether the MP Airdrive® would improve the quality of livers derived from DCD using a large animal model. The study found that the 5-day survival in animals that received a liver via an MP was 100% and demonstrates, for the first time, the efficacy of the transportable MP Airdrive® device to enhance donor liver viability for transplantation in a clinically relevant DCD model.
About The International Liver Congress™
This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Specialists share research studies and findings, and discuss the hottest topics related to liver disease. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. 2015 is a very special year for EASL and the hepatology community as they will celebrate the 50th annual meeting. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 22-26, 2015, Vienna, Austria.
Since EASL's foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from more than 100 countries around the world. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, it attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.
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