We recently shared news of the positive outcomes of the VITTAL study which investigated the use of an innovative liver perfusion technique that could significantly increase the number of donated livers that can be used safely for organ transplantation in the future.
Currently, across the UK, a third of donated livers don’t meet desired transplant criteria and aren’t used. This is due to an increasing number of donated livers coming from high-risk donors such as those with a history of alcohol misuse, obesity or elderly people with comorbidities. These organs often do not get used. For many, a transplant is the only hope for survival, but demand for livers suitable for transplantation far outstrips supply.
Experts from the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre found that just four to six hours of normothermic machine perfusion assessment enabled 70% of currently discarded livers to recover enough to allow successful transplantation into a recipient.
This study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and trials were undertaken with adults. However, it is also a positive development and promising news for paediatric liver transplants.
Today we provide some further details and a summary of the results.
The study was published in Nature Communications and you can view full details here ‘Transplantation of discarded livers following viability testing with normothermic machine perfusion’ or download the PDF here.
You can read the University of Birmingham press release previously shared on social media here.