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Oxygen persufflation as adjunct in liver preservation (OPAL): Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Author(s): Minor Thomas | Pütter Carolin | Gallinat Anja | Ose Claudia | Kaiser Gernot | Scherag Andre | Treckmann Jürgen | Paul Andreas

Journal: Trials
ISSN 1745-6215

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 234;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Early graft dysfunction due to preservation/reperfusion injury represents a dramatic event after liver transplantation. Enhancement of donor organ criteria, in order to cope with the ever increasing donor shortage, further increases graft susceptibility to ischemic alterations. Major parts of post-preservation injury, however, occur at the time of warm reperfusion but not during ischemic storage; successful reperfusion of ischemic tissue in turn depends on an adequate redox and intracellular signal homeostasis. The latter has been shown experimentally to be favorably influenced by oxygen persufflation within short time spans. Thus viability of marginally preserved liver grafts could still be augmented by transient hypothermic reconditioning even after normal procurement and static cold storage. The present study is aimed to confirm the conceptual expectations, that hypothermic reconditioning by gaseous oxygen persufflation is a useful method to suppress injurious cellular activation cascades and to improve post-ischemic recovery of marginally preserved liver grafts. Methods/Design OPAL is a prospective single center randomized proof of concept study, including two parallel groups in a total of 116 liver transplant patients. The effect of an in hospital treatment of the isolated liver graft by 2 hours of oxygen persufflation immediately prior to transplantation will be assesses as compared to standard procedure (cold storage without further intervention). The primary endpoint is the peak transaminase serum level (AST) during the first three days after transplantation as a surrogate readout for parenchymal liver injury. Other outcomes comprise patient and graft survival, time of intensive care requirement, hepatic tissue perfusion 1h after revascularisation, early onset of graft dysfunction based on coagulation parameters, as well as the use of a refined scoring-system for initial graft function based on a multi-parameter (AST, ALT, Quick and bilirubin) score. Furthermore, the effect of OPAL on molecular pathways of autophagy and inflammatory cell activation will be evaluated. Final analysis will be based on all participants as randomized (intention to treat). Trial Registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00167887
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