(ORDO NEWS) — A human liver deemed unsuitable for transplantation was repaired with a new perfusion machine and subsequently transplanted into the patient. The organ was out of the body for a record three days!
Donor liver initially not approved for transplant due to damage
A unique liver transplant operation took place back in May 2021. However, the scientists only recently published the results in the journal Nature Biotechnology .
The liver was taken from a donor and connected to a new machine that performs a technique called ex situ normothermic perfusion.
The new device takes into account all the needs of the body for survival: it maintains a normal body temperature, saturates tissues with oxygen and fills it with numerous hormones and nutrients that mimic the functions of the intestines and pancreas.
The organ was initially damaged when it was taken from a donor and is not approved for transplant due to poor quality.
However, the researchers were able to bring him back to a perfectly healthy state after three days of treatment with the machine.
After that, the liver was transplanted to a man who was able to leave the hospital just a few days after the operation.
This is just the beginning
Scientists believe that using the device can save the liver even longer than three days. A lab study back in 2020 found that the machine could keep the liver alive outside the body for about a week.
Since donor organs can usually be stored for no more than 12 hours, the researchers believe the new device could save lives by reducing requirements and extending storage time for donor organs.
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