The introduction of UW solution into clinical transplantation has permitted extended cold storage preservation of the liver. Over a 46-month period, we have performed 308 orthotopic liver transplants (266 primary, 42 retransplants) in 266 recipients. Our experience is divided into cold-storage preservation in Euro- collins (163 transplants in 140 recipients) and UW (145 transplants in 131 recipients) solutions. Donor and recipient factors were comparable between the two groups. The use of UW solution has permitted an increase in the mean preservation time from 5.2±1.0 [EC] to 12.8±4.3 [UW] hr (P<0.00l). The mean total operating time was reduced but intraoperative blood loss was unchanged with UW preservation. The number of transplants performed during the daytime hours has increased dramatically (21.5% [EC] vs. 71% [UW], P<0.00l). The incidence of primary nonfunction, hepatic artery thrombosis, 1-month graft survival, and early retransplantation were similar in the 2 groups. Initial allograft function as determined by bile production, histology, and clinical assessment were likewise similar. Mean serum bilirubin, transaminase, and prothrombin levels were virtually identical by 5 days posttransplant. The enhanced margin of safety afforded by extended preservation has increased the capability for distant organ procurement and sharing, minimized organ wastage, and improved the efficiency of organ retrieval. With the relaxation of logistical constraints, our rate of liver import has nearly doubled (20.9% [EC] vs. 39.3% [UW], P<0.00l). Extended preservation has permitted the development of reduced-size liver grafting (n=12), resulting in a significant reduction in the number of deaths occurring while awaiting transplantation. Therefore, we advocate the use of UW solution with selective extension of preservation based not only on donor and recipient factors but also on manpower, resource, and logistical considerations.
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