The influence of perfusion solution on renal graft viability assessment
1 Applied Immunobiology Group, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK
2 The Institute of Transplantation, The Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Transplantation Research 2012, 1:18 doi:10.1186/2047-1440-1-18Published: 18 October 2012
Kidneys from donors after cardiac or circulatory death are exposed to extended periods of both warm ischemia and intra-arterial cooling before organ recovery. Marshall’s hypertonic citrate (HOC) and Bretschneider’s histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) preservation solutions are cheap, low viscosity preservation solutions used clinically for organ flushing. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of these two solutions both on parameters used in clinical practice to assess organ viability prior to transplantation and histological evidence of ischemic injury after reperfusion.
Rodent kidneys were exposed to post-mortem warm ischemia, extended intra-arterial cooling (IAC) (up to 2 h) with preservation solution and reperfusion with either Krebs-Hensleit or whole blood in a transplant model. Control kidneys were either reperfused directly after retrieval or stored in 0.9% saline. Biochemical, immunological and histological parameters were assessed using glutathione-S-transferase (GST) enzymatic assays, polymerase chain reaction and mitochondrial electron microscopy respectively. Vascular function was assessed by supplementing the Krebs-Hensleit perfusion solution with phenylephrine to stimulate smooth muscle contraction followed by acetylcholine to trigger endothelial dependent relaxation.
When compared with kidneys reperfused directly post mortem, 2 h of IAC significantly reduced smooth muscle contractile function, endothelial function and upregulated vascular cellular adhesion molecule type 1 (VCAM-1) independent of the preservation solution. However, GST release, vascular resistance, weight gain and histological mitochondrial injury were dependent on the preservation solution used.
We conclude that initial machine perfusion viability tests, including ischemic vascular resistance and GST, are dependent on the perfusion solution used during in situ cooling. HTK-perfused kidneys will be heavier, have higher GST readings and yet reduced mitochondrial ischemic injury when compared with HOC-perfused kidneys. Clinicians should be aware of this when deciding which kidneys to transplant or discard.