Safety and feasibility of 2 h of normothermic machine perfusion of donor kidneys in the Eurotransplant Senior Program

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BACKGROUND: The 5-year graft survival rate of donor kidneys transplanted in the Eurotransplant Senior Program (ESP) is only 47 per cent. Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) may be a new preservation technique that improves graft outcome. This pilot study aimed to assess safety and feasibility of this technique within the ESP. METHODS: Recipients were eligible for inclusion if they received a donor kidney within the ESP. Donor kidneys underwent 2 h of oxygenated NMP with a red cell-based solution at 37°C, additional to standard-of-care preservation (non-oxygenated hypothermic machine perfusion). The primary outcome was the safety and feasibility of NMP. As a secondary outcome, graft outcome was investigated and compared with that in a historical group of patients in the ESP and the contralateral kidneys. RESULTS: Eleven patients were included in the NMP group; the function of eight kidneys could be compared with that of the contralateral kidney. Fifty-three patients in the ESP, transplanted consecutively between 2016 and 2018, were included as controls. No adverse events were noted, especially no arterial thrombosis or primary non-function of the transplants. After 120 min of oxygenated NMP, median flow increased from 117 (i.q.r. 80-126) to 215 (170-276) ml/min (P = 0.001). The incidence of immediate function was 64 per cent in the NMP group and 40 per cent in historical controls (P = 0.144). A significant difference in graft outcome was not observed. DISCUSSION: This pilot study showed NMP to be safe and feasible in kidneys transplanted in the ESP. A well powered study is warranted to confirm these results and investigate the potential advantages of NMP on graft outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzraa024
JournalBJS open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2021


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