Donor Liver Kept Viable Using Perfusion

A donor liver kept viable for the first time ever was recently transplanted into a patient who is alive and doing well after receiving the organ.

Patient Ian Cristie received the organ at King’s College Hospital after it was kept perfused with blood and at room temperature instead of cooled and bathed in ice-cold preservation fluid.

donor liver

Liver being perfused with blood at room temperature

The perfusion machine was developed by bioengineer Constantin Coussios of Oxford University and Peter Friend of the Oxford Transplant Centre. The technology, dubbed the OrganOx, was then used in the transplantation of a second patient who is doing well.

If these early results using this technology can be replicated, use could spread throughout the liver transplant community in the next several years and might double the number of livers available for use in transplantation.

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