Machine perfusion at 20°C reduces preservation damage to livers from non-heart beating donors

Andrea Ferrigno, Vittoria Rizzo, Eleonora Boncompagni, Alberto Bianchi, Enrico Gringeri, Daniele Neri, Plinio Richelmi, Isabel Freitas, Umberto Cillo, Mariapia Vairetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We previously reported that machine perfusion (MP) performed at 20 °C enhanced the preservation of steatotic rat livers. Here, we tested whether rat livers retrieved 30. min after cardiac arrest (NHBDs) were better protected by MP at 20 °C than with cold storage. We compared the recovery of livers from NHBDs with organs obtained from heart beating donors (HBDs) preserved by cold storage. MP technique: livers were perfused for 6. h with UW-G modified at 20 °C. Cold storage: livers were perfused in situ and preserved with UW solution at 4 °C for 6. h. Both MP and cold storage preserved livers were reperfused with Krebs-Heinselet buffer (2. h at 37 °C). AST and LDH release and mitochondrial glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) levels were evaluated. Parameters assessed included: bile production and biliary enzymes; tissue ATP; reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG); protein-SH group concentration. Livers preserved by MP at 20 °C showed significantly lower hepatic damage at the end of reperfusion compared with cold storage. GDH release was significantly reduced and bile production, ATP levels, GSH/GSSG and protein-SH groups were higher in livers preserved by MP at 20 °C than with cold storage. The best preserved morphology and high glycogen content was obtained with livers submitted to MP at 20 °C. Liver recovery using MP at 20 °C was comparable to recovery with HBDs. MP at 20 °C improves cell survival and gives a better-quality of preservation for livers obtained from NHBDs and may provide a new method for the successful utilization of marginal livers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Bile
  • Cold storage
  • Liver
  • Machine perfusion
  • Mitochondria
  • NHBD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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