New Hope for Liver Transplantation

The team doctor in London, England, managed to create a machine to keep the liver from an organ donor alive, warm and functioning outside the human body. With the engine of the donor's liver remain in good condition for the next transplanted into the patient.

The success of the first in the world that is the fruit of the collaboration team of doctors, engineers, and surgeons. This success is expected to be replicated by hospitals around the world in the coming years so that the expectations of the patients receive the greater of the prime organ.

So far the procedure has been performed on two patients in the UK are on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant. They had experienced postoperative recovery well.

"Very surprising to see liver initially cold and pale change color once inserted in a special machine as the liver is in the body," said Constantin Coussios, one of the inventors of the machine.

"What is remarkable is to see the transplanted liver in patients who are healthy now," he said.

During liver is the organ that will be used for transplants stored in the "ice" as the cooling efforts and slows metabolism. Furthermore the method is also used to prevent liver function as well as in the body.

The system has been used for decades, but often lead to damaged liver and not in accordance with the patient in need.

The surgeon said storing liver in ice more than 14 hours of actual risk, although the liver can last up to 20 hours.

High Needs

Every year 13,000 heart transplants performed throughout Europe and the United States. However, when combined with the patients still on the waiting list, every year there are 30,000 patients who need a new liver.

Experts say half of these patients died while still waiting. At the same time, more than 2000 liver is not feasible to use and had to be discarded because damaged by lack of oxygen or do not survive the storage process.

In the new technology developed by Coussios along with Peter Friend, director of Oxford Tranplant Center, livers stored in body temperature and "immersed" in the red blood cells get oxygen to stay alive.

"This is the first tool that fully provides the blood supply to the liver. Results of the first clinical study provides evidence that we can keep the liver outside the human body, keeping it alive and functioning in the machine, and then a few hours later transplanted into the patient," said Coussios .

The tool allows the liver to function normally, as in the human body, with the circulation of blood through the vessels and bile production for 24 hours or more.

"If we can introduce this technology in everyday practice, there will be major changes in the method of organ transplants," said Nigel Heaton, director of transplant surgery that are part of this team.

The first patient who received liver grafts was Ian Christie (62). He is still in a period of recovery after the surgery but he said his condition getting better every day.

Christie is a patients with cirrhosis (liver cancer) and can survive only sentenced to 18 months if not immediately get a liver transplant.

The team is currently planning doctors conducted experiments on 20 liver transplant patients. If successful, then it will be proposed to be produced widely.