Hypothermic machine perfusion (HMP) is a well-established method for deceased donor kidney preservation. Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) might offer similar or greater advantages. We compared the 2 methods in an ex vivo perfusion model using 34 porcine kidneys.
Thirty kidneys were stored on ice for 24 h before undergoing 4 h of HMP (n = 15) or NMP (n = 15) followed by 2 h of normothermic ex vivo reperfusion with whole blood. Four kidneys underwent 28 h of cold static storage followed by 2 h of normothermic ex vivo reperfusion. During the 2 h of normothermic ex vivo reperfusion, perfusate flow rates, urinary output, and oxygen consumption rates were compared between all groups.
Porcine kidneys after HMP showed significantly higher urinary output (5.31 ± 2.06 versus 2.44 ± 1.19 mL/min; P = 0.002), oxygen consumption (22.71 ± 6.27 versus 11.83 ± 1.29 mL/min; P = 0.0016), and perfusate flow rates (46.24 ± 12.49 versus 26.16 ± 4.57 mL/min; P = 0.0051) than kidneys after NMP. TUNEL staining of tissue sections showed significantly higher rates of apoptosis in kidneys after NMP (P = 0.027).
In our study, the direct comparison of HMP and NMP kidney perfusion in a translational model demonstrated superiority of HMP; however, further in vivo studies would be needed to validate those results.