A successful rejuvenation on a liver could revolutionize transplants

STORY – A graft could be kept for three days, and treated, before being reimplanted on a patient.

“A course against the clock”, this is how all professionals describe organ transplantation. Twelve hours for the liver, four for the heart: the maximum time between sampling and reimplantation depends on the organ but never exceeds a few hours. Beyond that, the lack of blood supply and therefore oxygenation could damage it irreversibly. A very short period of time during which the teams have to send the graft to the recipient’s hospital, set up a team and prepare a block, day and night. Freeing oneself from this constraint would be a revolution: or, more recently, it is a little less a matter of fantasy.

A multi-purpose team led by PR Pierre-Alain Clavien, a visceral and digestive surgeon at Zurich University Hospital, has developed a machine that allows a human liver to be stored at 37 ° C for up to three days before reimplantation. The first operation with a graft passed through the device …

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