Background: Cold storage in any of the commonly used preservation solutions is not always adequate for donation after cardiac death (DCD) liver grafts due to prolonged warm ischemic time. In this study, we used a third-generation perfluorocarbon (PFC), Oxycyte, for DCD liver graft preservation in a rat model. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight rats (14 in each group) were used. Thirty minutes after cardiopulmonary arrest, livers were harvested and flushed with a cold and pre-oxygenated solution of either University of Wisconsin (UW) or UW + 20% PFC. After 8 h of cold preservation in either of the investigated solutions, liver graft specimens were analyzed for evidence of ischemic injury. Hemotoxylin and eosin staining (H and E), as well as immunohistochemical analysis with anti-cleaved caspase 3 antibody, was performed. Levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the preservation solution were analyzed at 1 and 8 h during preservation. Results: In the PFC group, the degree of cell congestion, vacuolization and necrosis were all significantly less than in the UW group (P = 0.002-0.004). The number of cells with a positive cleaved caspase 3 antibody reaction was reduced by about 50% in comparison with the UW group (P < 0.006). The AST level in the PFC group was significantly less than in the UW group after 8 h of preservation (P < 0.048). Conclusion: The addition of PFC to UW solution significantly decreases the degree of histologic damage in rat DCD liver grafts. This preservation strategy can be potentially helpful for organ preservation after prolonged warm ischemia.
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