CNTRP team in Toronto performs their first 'warm liver' transplant using new liver preservat
Dr. Markus Selzner and his team of investigators from the UHN's Toronto General Hospital successfully transplanted a deceased donor liver that was preserved and kept healthy outside the body in a device, called the OrganOx Metra, that mimics human physiological functions. The recipient received a deceased donor liver which was placed on the OrganOx Metra for almost 12 hours that monitored ten different markers such as production of bile and blood flow to ensure excellent functioning before transplant. READ MORE
This new device and procedure is part of the larger CNTRP Project on ex vivo organ transplant protection and repair (P1). The OrganOx Metra will be used in a new multicentre randomized trial in clinical liver transplantation, lead by CNTRP investigators James Shapiro and Markus Selzner.
Why are we using this new device?
An acute shortage of Canadian organ donors results in up to one quarter of patients dying on wait lists for liver transplantation. Surgeons across the country are forced more often to use higher-risk, more injured 'marginal' organs. These may not function well in people receiving transplants, increasing their risk of complications or death. The standard method to transport livers from donor to recipient is in an icebox. While this is cheap and practical, and has been used unchanged for over 40 years, the cold-storage approach fails to protect damaged livers well.
Innovation and Opportunity
Cutting edge portable technology has recently become available to provide oxygen, warmth, blood and all nutrients to livers during transport. This maintains the liver in a perfect physiologic state until transplantation. This new CNTRP multicentre trial will explore the utility and safety of the Metra ‘normothermic life-support’ machine to keep livers functioning during transport as if they were still in the body. Investigators from across the country will compare the benefits of this potentially game-changing approach to the standard cold storage method in Canadian transplant recipients. Most important, the team will determine whether the Metra makes more livers usable to address the severe donor shortage.
Read more about this innovative approach and new technology in the following media articles: