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Test Transport Device Creates Hope for Liver Transplants

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Dr. Jorge Reyes, chief of transplant surgery at University of Washington Medical Center

UW Medicine is one of seven U.S. sites testing whether a warm-preservation system is as effective as puting organs on ice for travel.

In 2015, UW Medicine in Seattle was first in a national study to transplant a heart that had traveled between donor and recipient in a blood-circulation machine instead of an icy cooler. Now its transplant specialists are ready to test a similar device with donor liver grafts.

UW Medicine’s transplantation program is one of seven in the United States, and currently the only site west of Texas, participating in a randomized trial of an Organ Care System manufactured by TransMedics. The trial intends to enroll 300 transplant-listed patients to learn whether the warm-preservation system is effective for transporting cadaveric donor livers.

“We’ll be comparing whether recipients fare better than they would with traditional technology. Cold preservation versus warm preservation – what produces a better outcome in terms of observed damage and recovery from damage, which all organs experience when preserved for transplantation,” said Dr. Jorge Reyes, chief of transplant surgery at University of Washington Medical Center. Read more >>

Photo credits: Randy Carnell, University of Washington School of Medicine