A systematic review and meta-analysis of cold in situ perfusion and preservation of the hepatic allograft: working toward a unified approach

Ahmer M. Hameed, Jerome M. Laurence, Vincent W. T. Lam, Henry C. Pleass, Wayne J. Hawthorne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


The efficacy of cold in situ perfusion and static storage of the liver is a possible determinant of transplantation outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is evidence to substantiate a preference for a particular perfusion route (aortic or dual) or perfusion/preservation solution in donation after brain death (DBD) liver transplantation. The Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases were used (1980-2017). Random effects modeling was used to estimate effects on transplantation outcomes based on (1) aortic or dual in situ perfusion and (2) the use of University of Wisconsin (UW), histidine tryptophan ketoglutarate (HTK), Celsior, and/or Institut Georges Lopez–1 (IGL-1) solutions for perfusion/preservation. A total of 22 articles were included (2294 liver transplants). The quality of evidence ranged from very low to moderate Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations score. Meta-analyses were conducted for 14 eligible studies. Although there was no difference in the primary nonfunction (PNF) rate, a higher peak alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was recorded in dual compared with aortic-only UW-perfused livers (standardized mean difference, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.47); a back-table portal venous flush was undertaken in the majority of aortic-only perfused livers. There were no relevant differences in peak enzymes, PNF, thrombotic graft loss, biliary complications, or 1-year graft survival in comparisons between dual-perfused livers using UW, HTK, Celsior, or IGL-1. In conclusion, there is no significant evidence that aortic-only perfusion of the DBD liver compromises transplantation outcomes, and it may be favored because of its simplicity. However, there is currently insufficient evidence to advocate for the use of any particular perfusion/preservation fluid over the others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1615-1627
Number of pages13
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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