In the past 20 y, the number of patients in the United States who died while waiting for a human donor liver totaled >52 000. The median national wait time for patients with acute liver failure and the most urgent liver transplant listing was 7 d in 2018. The need for a clinical "bridge" to allotransplantation is clear. Current options for supporting patients with acute liver failure include artificial liver support devices, extracorporeal liver perfusion, and hepatocyte transplantation, all of which have shown mixed results with regard to survival benefit and are largely experimental. Progress in the transplantation of genetically engineered pig liver grafts in nonhuman primates has grown steadily, with survival of the pig graft extended to almost 1 mo in 2017. Further advances may justify consideration of a pig liver transplant as a clinical bridge to allotransplantation. We provide a brief history of pig liver xenotransplantation, summarize the most recent progress in pig-to-nonhuman primate liver transplantation models, and suggest criteria that may be considered for patient selection for a clinical trial of bridging by genetically engineered pig liver xenotransplantation to liver allotransplantation.
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