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Chen Teng-Wei, Hsieh Chung-Bao, De-Chuan Chan, Jyh-Cherng Yu, Shih-Ming Kuo, Chien-Sung Tsai, Hsiu-Lung Fan
(Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan)
Ann Transplant 2014; 19:680-687
Hemodynamic instability can lead to failure of donor organ procurement in brain-dead donors. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used in non-heart-beating donors to increase the donor pool, but the use of ECMO to salvage donor organs has been rarely used. We aimed to analyze postoperative liver function test results in patients receiving orthotopic liver transplants from ECMO-supported brain-dead donors.
Material and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 43 recipients of orthotopic liver transplantation from May 2009 to June 2012. Six recipients received liver grafts from ECMO-maintained donors designated as the ECMO group (n=6). The remaining patients were assigned to the non-ECMO group (n=37). Complication and mortality rates and liver function test results on postoperative days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 14 were compared between the 2 groups.
Results: Serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase levels were significantly elevated on postoperative Day 1 in the ECMO group. There were no significant differences in the complication and overall survival rates between the 2 groups (P=0.411).
Conclusions: Although serum transaminases markedly elevated on postoperative Day 1, ECMO successfully preserved potential liver grafts in hemodynamically unstable brain-dead donors.
Keywords: Brain Death, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Liver Transplantation