Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) is an alternative strategy for preserving kidneys donated after cardiac death (DCD). The relative efficacy of prolonged NMP compared to hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) in DCD kidneys with moderate ischemic injury is undetermined. This study compares NMP and HMP kidney preservation in a porcine DCD model.
Ten porcine kidneys underwent NMP or HMP preservation following 45 minutes of warm ischemia and 5 hours of cold ischemia. After 8 hours of machine preservation, hemodynamic stability, renal function, perfusate biomarkers, and histologic integrity were assessed in a simulated reperfusion model.
During simulated reperfusion, no differences were observed in oxygen consumption, urine production, creatinine clearance, fractional excretion of sodium, proteinuria, and perfusate levels of lactate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase. Resistance was no different after 30 minutes of simulated reperfusion. Histologically, NMP kidneys demonstrated increased vacuolization after preservation and greater loss of tubular integrity after simulated reperfusion. Perfusate levels of alkaline phosphatase (AP) and gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT) were higher in NMP kidneys during preservation, but upon simulated reperfusion, AP and GGT levels were higher in HMP-preserved kidneys. Peak AP and GGT during simulated reperfusion of HMP kidneys were over 14 times higher than peak AP and GGT during preservation of NMP kidneys.
NMP provided comparable preservation of renal function as HMP and minimized AP and GGT release upon reperfusion.