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Bile Formation in Long-Term Ex Situ Perfused Livers


Abstract

Background: Long-term ex situ liver perfusion may rescue injured grafts. Little is known about bile flow during long-term perfusion. We report the development of a bile stimulation protocol and motivate bile flow as a viability marker during long-term ex situ liver perfusion.

Methods: Porcine and human livers were perfused with blood at close to physiologic conditions. Our perfusion protocol was established during phase 1 with porcine livers (n = 23). Taurocholic acid was applied to stimulate bile flow. The addition of piperacillin-tazobactam (tazobac) and methylprednisolone was modified from daily bolus to controlled continuous application. We adapted the protocol to human livers (n = 12) during phase 2. Taurocholic acid was replaced with medical grade ursodeoxycholic acid.

Results: Phase 2: Despite administering taurocholic acid, bile flow declined from 29.3 ± 6.5 to 9.3 ± 1.4 mL/h (P < .001). Shortly after bolus of tazobac/methylprednisolone, bile flow recovered to 39.0 ± 9.7 mL/h with a decrease of solid bile components. This implied bile salt independent bile flow stimulation by tazobac/methylprednisolone. Phase 2: Ursodeoxycholic acid was shown to stimulate bile flow ex situ in human livers. Eight livers were perfused successfully for 1 week with continuous bile flow. The other 4 livers demonstrated progressive cell death, of which only 1 exhibited bile flow.

Conclusion: A lack of bile flow stimulation leads to a decline in bile flow and is not necessarily a sign of deterioration in liver function. Proper administration of stimulators can induce constant bile flow during ex situ liver perfusion for up to 1 week. Medical grade ursodeoxycholic acid is a suitable replacement for nonmedical grade taurocholic acid. The presence of bile flow alone is not sufficient to assess liver viability.

Abstract

Background: Long-term ex situ liver perfusion may rescue injured grafts. Little is known about bile flow during long-term perfusion. We report the development of a bile stimulation protocol and motivate bile flow as a viability marker during long-term ex situ liver perfusion.

Methods: Porcine and human livers were perfused with blood at close to physiologic conditions. Our perfusion protocol was established during phase 1 with porcine livers (n = 23). Taurocholic acid was applied to stimulate bile flow. The addition of piperacillin-tazobactam (tazobac) and methylprednisolone was modified from daily bolus to controlled continuous application. We adapted the protocol to human livers (n = 12) during phase 2. Taurocholic acid was replaced with medical grade ursodeoxycholic acid.

Results: Phase 2: Despite administering taurocholic acid, bile flow declined from 29.3 ± 6.5 to 9.3 ± 1.4 mL/h (P < .001). Shortly after bolus of tazobac/methylprednisolone, bile flow recovered to 39.0 ± 9.7 mL/h with a decrease of solid bile components. This implied bile salt independent bile flow stimulation by tazobac/methylprednisolone. Phase 2: Ursodeoxycholic acid was shown to stimulate bile flow ex situ in human livers. Eight livers were perfused successfully for 1 week with continuous bile flow. The other 4 livers demonstrated progressive cell death, of which only 1 exhibited bile flow.

Conclusion: A lack of bile flow stimulation leads to a decline in bile flow and is not necessarily a sign of deterioration in liver function. Proper administration of stimulators can induce constant bile flow during ex situ liver perfusion for up to 1 week. Medical grade ursodeoxycholic acid is a suitable replacement for nonmedical grade taurocholic acid. The presence of bile flow alone is not sufficient to assess liver viability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Surgery
Uncontrolled Keywords:Surgery
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:08 Feb 2021 16:15
Last Modified:12 Feb 2021 12:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0039-6060
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2020.11.042
PubMed ID:33422346

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