To complete a successful liver transplantation (LTx) from non-heart-beating donors (NHBD), it is necessary to both improve the energy status in liver grafts and to reduce the exposure to free radicals. This study investigated the effects of short perfusion with oxygenated buffer on the grafts prior to cold preservation. In addition, the effects of the antioxidant, biliverdin, for reduction of free radicals was investigated. Male Wistar rats were used. Livers were retrieved, preserved in UW solution, and perfused for 60 min with oxygenated Krebs-Henseleit solution. Rats were allocated to six groups as follows (n = 5): i) control group - no warm ischemia (WI) and cold preservation, ii) HBD group - no WI with cold preservation for 6 h; iii) NHBD group - with 30 min of WI and cold preservation, iv) NM group - with WI including nafamostat mesilate infusion before cardiac arrest and cold preservation; v) PRE group - with WI, 30-min pre-cold preservation perfusion with oxygenated buffer after cardiac arrest, and cold preservation, vi) BV group - with the same treatment as the PRE group plus the addition of biliverdin to the pre-cold preservation perfusion. The portal flow volume, bile production, AST, and TNF-α in perfusate, energy charge (EC), and ATP level in the tissue, and histological findings were investigated. The portal flow volume in the NM, PRE, and BV groups were higher than in the NHBD group. The bile production in the PRE and BV groups were also higher than in the NHBD group. The EC and ATP level of the BV group after reperfusion were higher than those of the NHBD group. Pre-cold preservation perfusion and addition of biliverdin to perfusate improved viability of grafts from NHBD. The results indicate that the preservation of the energy status and microcirculation of the graft is important for successful LTx from NHBD.
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