This study aimed to assess the effects of remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) on liver function in donors and recipients after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT).
Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is known to be associated with graft dysfunction after liver transplantation. RIPC is used to lessen the harmful effects of IRI.
A total of 148 donors were randomly assigned to RIPC (n = 75) and control (n = 73) groups. RIPC involves 3 cycles of 5-minute inflation of a blood pressure cuff to 200 mm Hg to the upper arm, followed by 5-minute reperfusion with cuff deflation. The primary aim was to assess postoperative liver function in donors and recipients and the incidence of early allograft dysfunction and graft failure in recipients.
RIPC was not associated with any differences in postoperative aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase levels after living donor hepatectomy, and it did not decrease the incidence of delayed graft hepatic function (6.7% vs 0.0%, P = 0.074) in donors. AST level on postoperative day 1 [217.0 (158.0, 288.0) vs 259.5 (182.0, 340.0), P = 0.033] and maximal AST level within 7 postoperative days [244.0 (167.0, 334.0) vs 296.0 (206.0, 395.5), P = 0.029) were significantly lower in recipients who received a preconditioned graft. No differences were found in the incidence of early allograft dysfunction (4.1% vs 5.6%, P = 0.955) or graft failure (1.4% vs 5.6%, P = 0.346) among recipients.
RIPC did not improve liver function in living donor hepatectomy. However, RIPC performed in liver donors may be beneficial for postoperative liver function in recipients after living donor liver transplantation.