Protective role of tauroursodeoxycholate during harvesting and cold storage of human liver

Laura Falasca, Giuseppe Tisone, Giampiero Palmieri, Alessandro Anselmo, Daniele Di Paolo, Leonardo Baiocchi, Elena Torri, Giuseppe Orlando, Carlo Umberto Casciani, Mario Angelico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Ischemia-reperfusion injury is a major cause of early graft dysfunction after liver transplantation. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), a natural amidated hydrophilic bile salt, protects from cholestasis and hepatocellular damage in a variety of experimental models, as well as from ischemia-reperfusion injury. We investigated in the human liver transplantation setting the effect of the addition of TUDCA at time of liver harvesting and cold storage on the intra- and postoperative enzyme release and liver histopathology at the end of cold storage, at reperfusion, and 7 days after transplantation. Methods. Eighteen patients undergoing elective liver transplantation were studied, including 6 serving as controls. In six patients, TUDCA was added to the University of Wisconsin solution used during harvesting and cold storage, to reach final concentrations of 2 mM. In three of these patients, TUDCA (3 g) was infused in the portal vein of the donor before organ explantation; in the other three cases, TUDCA was given through both routes. Results. The use of TUDCA did not cause adverse events. The release of aspartate aminotransferase in the inferior vena cava blood during liver flushing was significantly lower (P=0.05) in TUDCA-treated than in control grafts, as were cytolytic enzyme levels in peripheral blood during the first postoperative week (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268-1276
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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