Assessment of liver function during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the non-heart beating donor swine

A. Rojas, L. Chen, R. H. Bartlett, J. D. Arenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction Although the use of non-heart beating donors (NHBD) could bridge the widening gap between organ demand and supply, its application to liver transplantation is limited due to warm ischemia (WI), biliary tree injury, and inadequate organ assessment. Warm blood reperfusion using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be a suitable option to reduce WI in organs from NHBD, allowing one to determine hepatic flow characteristics and bile production and facilitating assessment of organ viability. Methods This work evaluates the use of warm blood veno-arterial ECMO reperfusion in NHBD swine. Systemic and hepatic hemodynamics, bile, urine, and mixed venous blood were measured. After baseline data collection, 10 kU heparin was given intravenously followed by 1 g KCl to elicit cardiac arrest (CA). ECMO was started after 30 or 60 minutes of CA and kept running for 120 minutes. Results One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Tukey test analysis was used within a group. Two-way ANOVA was used between groups. ECMO can restore venous SO 2 and pH in both groups; the values were close to baseline in the 30-minute CA group. Also, in this group, bile production was >65% from baseline early during reperfusion and its value was lower in the longer CA group <55% (P < .001). Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was doubled at the end of ECMO support in the 60-minute CA group (P < .05). Conclusion In this preheparinized NHBD swine model, ECMO support restores liver perfusion, oxygenation, and bile production after 60 minutes of CA. Quantification and analysis of bile production could be a determinant of liver function during ECMO resuscitation, and it may be a predictor of graft viability before transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1268-1270
Number of pages3
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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