NICE: "More donor livers could be used for transplantation thanks to exciting new development"
OrganOx, the UK innovator behind normothermic machine perfusion (NMP), welcomes the NICE assessment of machine perfusion released today which highlights the technology as an ‘exciting development in increasing the number of livers which can be safely used for transplantation’.
Whereas the traditional method of organ preservation requires cooling and storage in an ice box, NMP with the OrganOx metra device maintains the liver at normal body temperature prior to transplantation and actively delivers oxygenated blood, medications and nutrients. This greatly reduces the tissue injury associated with transplantation and enables quality assessment of the donor liver prior to transplantation.
In 2017, over 500 livers from deceased organ donors in the UK were either not retrieved or retrieved but not transplanted. In many cases this was because the condition of the donor organ was such that they were unlikely to function after being preserved in an ice box.
Professor Chris Watson, Professor of Transplantation, University of Cambridge, commented “In the past year we have used the OrganOx technology more than 30 times and increased the number of liver transplants we perform by around 20%. With this technology we are able to make an informed decision about the viability of a donor liver based on its function, not merely on its appearance. The impact of this technology nationally is that many more patients will receive a transplant, which is great news for patients waiting on the transplant list”.