Multifactorial Biological Modulation of Warm Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in Liver Transplantation From Non-Heart-Beating Donors Eliminates Primary Nonfunction and Reduces Bile Salt Toxicity

D. Monbaliu, K. Vekemans, H. Hoekstra, L. Vaahtera, L. Libbrecht, K. Derveaux, J. Parkkinen, Q. Liu, V. Heedfeld, T. Wylin, H. Deckx, Marcel Zeegers, E. Balligand, W. Buurman, J. van Pelt, R.J. Porte, J. Pirenne

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    OBJECTIVE:: To design a multifactorial biological modulation approach targeting ischemia reperfusion injury to augment viability of porcine liver grafts from non-heart-beating donors (NHBD). BACKGROUND DATA:: Liver Transplantation (LTx) from NHBD is associated with an increased risk of primary nonfunction (PNF) and biliary complications. In porcine NHBD-LTx, we previously reported a 50% risk of PNF and toxic bile formation in grafts exposed to >/=30' warm ischemia (WI). METHODS:: Porcine livers exposed to 45' WI were cold stored, transplanted and either modulated (n = 6) or not (controls, n = 9). In the modulation group, donor livers were flushed with warm Ringers (avoiding cold-induced vasoconstriction), streptokinase (eliminating stagnating thrombi), and epoprostenol (vasodilator, platelet aggregation inhibitor) prior to cold storage. In recipients, glycine (Kupffer cell stabilizer), alpha1-acid-glycoprotein (anti-inflammatory protein), MAPKinase-inhibitor (pro-inflammatory cytokine generation inhibitor), alpha-tocopherol and glutathione (anti-oxidants), and apotransferrin (iron chelator) were administrated intravenously. PNF, survival, lactate, transaminase, TNF-alpha, redox-active iron, and biliary bile salt-to-phospholipid ratio were monitored. RESULTS:: No PNF was observed in modulated versus 55% in control pigs (P = 0.025). Survival was 83% in modulated versus 22% in control pigs (P = 0.02). At 180' postreperfusion, lactate was lower in modulated (5.4 +/- 1.9 mmol/L) versus control pigs (9.4 +/- 2.2 mmol/L; P = 0.011). At 60' postreperfusion, there was a trend for lower AST in modulated versus control pigs at 60' (939 +/- 578 vs. 1683 +/- 873 IU/L; P = 0.089). Postreperfusion, TNF-alpha remained stable in modulated pigs (49 +/- 27 pg/mL at 15' and 85 +/- 26 pg/mL at 180'; P = 0.399) but increased in control pigs (107 +/- 36pg/mL at 15' and 499 +/- 216 pg/mL at 180'; P = 0.023). At 180' postreperfusion, redox-active iron was higher in control pigs versus modulated pigs (0.21+/-0.18 vs. 0.042+/-0.062 mum; P = 0.038). Biliary bile salt-to-phospholipid ratio post-LTx was lower in modulated versus control pigs (1128 +/- 447 vs. 4836 +/- 4619; P = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:: A multifactorial biological modulation eliminates PNF, improves liver function and increases survival. Biochemically, TNF-alpha and redox-active iron are suppressed and biliary bile salt toxicity is reduced. Translating this strategy clinically may lead to wider and safer use of NHBD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)808-817
    JournalAnnals of Surgery
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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