A procedure assessed by NICE and used in research led by the University of Birmingham has been hailed as an exciting development in increasing the number of livers which can be safely used for transplantation.
A perfusion machine can keep the donated liver viable for transplantation for longer. The machine reduces the rate of tissue deterioration that occurs after the liver has been removed from the donor and extends how long the liver can be stored before transplantation.
Variations of the technique can also allow the liver to be flushed with blood at body temperature and supplied with oxygen, medications and nutrients allowing its viability and function to be assessed.
It is hoped machine perfusion could increase the number of organs viable for transplant, saving more lives and reducing liver transplant waiting lists.