Challenges with the Implementation of Machine Perfusion in Clinical Liver Transplantation

Femke H.C. De Goeij, Vincent De Meijer, Hynek Mergental, James V. Guarrera, Sonal Asthana, Davide Ghinolfi, Yuri L. Boteon, Nazia Selzner, Marit Kalisvaart, Carlo Pulitano, Christopher Sonnenday, Paulo N. Martins, Gabriela Berlakovich, Andrea Schlegel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Dynamic organ preservation is a relatively old technique which has regained significant interest in the last decade. Machine perfusion (MP) techniques are applied in various fields of solid organ transplantation today. The first clinical series of ex situ MP in liver transplantation was presented in 2010. Since then, the number of research and clinical applications has substantially increased. Despite the notable beneficial effect on organ quality and recipient outcome, MP is still not routinely used in liver transplantation. Based on the enormous need to better preserve organs and the subsequent demand to continuously innovate and develop perfusion equipment further, this technology is also beneficial to test and deliver future therapeutic strategies to livers before implantation. This article summarizes the various challenges observed during the current shift from static to dynamic liver preservation in the clinical setting. The different organ perfusion strategies are discussed first, together with ongoing clinical trials and future study design. The current status of research and the impact of costs and regulations is highlighted next. Factors contributing to costs and other required resources for a worldwide successful implementation and reimbursement are presented third. The impact of research on cost-utility and effectivity to guide the tailored decision-making regarding the optimal perfusion strategy is discussed next. Finally, this article provides potential solutions to the challenging field of innovation in healthcare considering the various social and economic factors and the role of clinical, regulatory, and financial stakeholders worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1296-1307
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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