We studied the viability of canine pancreatic grafts using a short-time perfusion technique with an organ perfusion machine, “ORPH3000C”. The following parameters were examined during perfusion of warm ischemically damaged grafts: Amylase, lipase, and insulin levels in the perfusate after 1-hr perfusion showed no significant correlation with warm ischemic time (WIT), and these indices could not be used to assess graft viability. Tissue flow rate (TFR) at the end of perfusion was significantly decreased with prolonged WIT. TFR correlated with the percent decrease in tissue SOD activity, thus TFR was a reliable predictor of reperfusion injury. Histological studies showed no findings attributable to warm ischemic injury before 1hr perfusion. After 1-hr perfusion, the grafts were allotransplanted and the relation between TFR and endocrine function of the transplanted grafts was examined. TFR correlated with K value calculated from IV-GTT performed on day 5 postoperatively, suggesting that TFR is a predictable index of isolated pancreatic graft viability. Using TFR levels, this method allowed us to select only grafts with good function prior to transplantation. This technique appears to be of use for pancreatic transplantation from cadaver donors after cardiac arrest.
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