Machine perfusion strategies in liver transplantation
Machine perfusion is a hot topic in liver transplantation and several new perfusion concepts are currently developed. Prior to introduction into routine clinical practice, however, such perfusion approaches need to demonstrate their impact on liver function, post-transplant complications, utilization rates of high-risk organs, and cost benefits. Therefore, based on results of experimental and clinical studies, the community has to recognize the limitations of this technology. In this review, we summarize current perfusion concepts and differences between protective mechanisms of ex- and in-situ perfusion techniques. Next, we discuss which graft types may benefit most from perfusion techniques, and highlight the current understanding of liver viability testing. Finally, we present results from recent clinical trials involving machine liver perfusion, and analyze the value of different outcome parameters, currently used as endpoints for randomized controlled trials in the field.