DOI: 10.1097/txd.0000000000001611 ISSN: 2373-8731

A Novel Hypobaric Perfusion Method to Remove Microthrombi in Kidney Grafts with Prolonged Circulatory Arrest: A Pilot Study on a Porcine Model

Yoshitaka Kinoshita, Satomi Iwai, Shinji Torai, Kanta Kurauchi, Takashi Yokoo, Haruki Kume, Rene Tolba, Eiji Kobayashi
  • Transplantation


Intragraft microthrombi prevent complete organ perfusion, thereby compromising the viability maintained by preservation solutions or machine perfusion. Herein, we developed and evaluated a hypobaric perfusion method for flushing microthrombi from kidney grafts with prolonged circulatory arrest in a porcine model.


Porcine renal grafts with 1-h warm ischemia were flushed with heparin-containing perfusate in a normobaric environment (control group) or a hypobaric environment of −20 to −30 mm Hg (hypobaric perfusion group) for 10 min using a gravity drip from a 1-m height. Perfusion parameters, histological findings in ex vivo blood perfusion experiments (2 control and 4 hypobaric perfusion kidneys), and safety in allogeneic porcine transplantation experiments (1 donor to 2 recipients) were evaluated.


The −20 mm Hg hypobaric perfusion group exhibited greater maximal flow than the control group (20.4 versus 6.9 mL/min; P = 0.028). Histological evaluation following 3 h of static cold storage and 10 min ex vivo porcine whole-blood perfusion revealed statistically significant reductions in congestion and edema (1.5 versus 3, and 0.5 versus 4 on a 5-point scale, from 0 to 4; P = 0.014 and 0.006, respectively) in the medulla along with improved ischemia–reperfusion injury scores (4.0 versus 4.7 on a 6-point scale, from 0 to 5; P = 0.004) in the −20 mm Hg hypobaric perfusion group. Kidney grafts perfused under −30 mm Hg hypobaric environment followed by 3 h of static cold storage could be used for porcine allogeneic transplantation without any macroscopic damage to the graft, effect on intraoperative handling, or perioperative adverse events. Thus, the hypobaric perfusion method was considered safe.


Perfusion in a hypobaric environment may prevent graft congestion, edema, and further reperfusion injury by flushing out erythrocytes occluding the medullary capillaries, improving marginal renal graft quality, and reducing the number of discarded grafts.

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