A multicenter randomized-controlled trial of hypothermic oxygenated perfusion (HOPE) for human liver grafts before transplantation

Andrea Schlegel, Matteo Mueller, Xavier Muller, Janina Eden, Rebecca Panconesi, Stefanie von Felten, Klaus Steigmiller, Richard X. Sousa Da Silva, Olivier de Rougemont, Jean Yves Mabrut, Mickaël Lesurtel, Miriam Cortes Cerisuelo, Nigel D. Heaton, Marc Antoine Allard, Rene Adam, Diethard Monbaliu, Ina Jochmans, Martijn P.D. Haring, Robert J. Porte, Alessandro ParentePaolo Muiesan, Philipp Kron, Magdy Attia, Dagmar Kollmann, Gabriela Berlakovich, Xavier Rogiers, Karin Petterson, Anne L. Kranich, Stefanie Amberg, Beat Müllhaupt, Pierre Alain Clavien, Philipp Dutkowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background & Aims: Machine perfusion is a novel method intended to optimize livers before transplantation. However, its effect on morbidity within a 1-year period after transplantation has remained unclear. Methods: In this multicenter controlled trial, we randomly assigned livers donated after brain death (DBD) for liver transplantation (LT). Livers were either conventionally cold stored (control group), or cold stored and subsequently treated by 1-2 h hypothermic oxygenated perfusion (HOPE) before implantation (HOPE group). The primary endpoint was the occurrence of at least one post-transplant complication per patient, graded by the Clavien score of ≥III, within 1-year after LT. The comprehensive complication index (CCI), laboratory parameters, as well as duration of hospital and intensive care unit stay, graft survival, patient survival, and biliary complications served as secondary endpoints. Results: Between April 2015 and August 2019, we randomized 177 livers, resulting in 170 liver transplantations (85 in the HOPE group and 85 in the control group). The number of patients with at least one Clavien ≥III complication was 46/85 (54.1%) in the control group and 44/85 (51.8%) in the HOPE group (odds ratio 0.91; 95% CI 0.50-1.66; p = 0.76). Secondary endpoints were also not significantly different between groups. A post hoc analysis revealed that liver-related Clavien ≥IIIb complications occurred less frequently in the HOPE group compared to the control group (risk ratio 0.26; 95% CI 0.07-0.77; p = 0.027). Likewise, graft failure due to liver-related complications did not occur in the HOPE group, but occurred in 7% (6 of 85) of the control group (log-rank test, p = 0.004, Gray test, p = 0.015). Conclusions: HOPE after cold storage of DBD livers resulted in similar proportions of patients with at least one Clavien ≥III complication compared to controls. Exploratory findings suggest that HOPE decreases the risk of severe liver graft-related events. Impact and implications: This randomized controlled phase III trial is the first to investigate the impact of hypothermic oxygenated perfusion (HOPE) on cumulative complications within a 12-month period after liver transplantation. Compared to conventional cold storage, HOPE did not have a significant effect on the number of patients with at least one Clavien ≥III complication. However, we believe that HOPE may have a beneficial effect on the quantity of complications per patient, based on its application leading to fewer severe liver graft-related complications, and to a lower risk of liver-related graft loss. The HOPE approach can be applied easily after organ transport during recipient hepatectomy. This appears fundamental for wide acceptance since concurring perfusion technologies need either perfusion at donor sites or continuous perfusion during organ transport, which are much costlier and more laborious. We conclude therefore that the post hoc findings of this trial should be further validated in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-793
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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