Oxygen Persufflation in Liver Transplantation Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Oxygen persufflation has shown experimentally to favorably influence hepatic energy dependent pathways and to improve survival after transplantation. The present trial evaluated oxygen persufflation as adjunct in clinical liver preservation. A total of n = 116 adult patients (age: 54 (23-68) years, M/F: 70/46), were enrolled in this prospective randomized study. Grafts were randomized to either oxygen persufflation for ≥2 h (O2) or mere cold storage (control). Only liver grafts from donors ≥55 years and/or marginal grafts after multiple rejections by other centers were included. Primary endpoint was peak-aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level until post-operative day 3. Standard parameters including graft- and patient survival were analyzed by uni- and multivariate analysis. Both study groups were comparable except for a longer ICU stay (4 versus 3 days) of the donors and a higher recipient age (57 versus 52 years) in the O2-group. Serum levels of TNF alpha were significantly reduced after oxygen persufflation (p < 0.05). Median peak-AST values did not differ between the groups (O2: 580 U/l, control: 699 U/l). Five year graft- and patient survival was similar. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a positive effect of oxygen persufflation concerning the development of early allograft dysfunction (EAD), in donors with a history of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and elevated ALT values, and concerning older or macrosteatotic livers. This study favors pre-implantation O2-persufflation in concrete subcategories of less than optimal liver grafts, for which oxygen persufflation can be considered a safe, cheap and easy applicable reconditioning method.