Successful emergency transplantation of a liver allograft from a donor maintained on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
The critical shortage of cadaveric donors for organ transplantation has led many transplant centers to accept life-saving organs from donors who would have previously been refused for transplantation. We report a novel case of the use of a liver allograft from a donor whose oxygen delivery was maintained by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 29 days before suffering an anoxic brain injury from ECMO dysfunction. Liver transplantation was successfully performed in a patient with fulminant hepatic failure. Immediate graft function was obtained in the recipient, with full neurologic recovery and return to gainful employment 4 months after transplantation. ECMO may provide an intriguing option for the maintenance of organ function in the critically unstable brain-dead organ donor to salvage organs for transplantation. Further studies are currently underway.
Johnson, LB; Plotkin, JS; Howell, CD; Njoku, MJ; Kuo, PC; Bartlett, ST
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