• graft function;
  • human hepatocytes;
  • liver slices;
  • drug metabolism;
  • drug transport;
  • viability

Abstract:Aims/Background: In liver transplantation, adequate function tests for donor livers and transplanted livers are of utmost importance to provide an objective basis for decision-making. Isolated hepatocyte and/or slice preparations from human donor liver tissue may be suitable to test the quality of the organ to be transplanted. Methods: Surgical waste material remaining after reduced size or split liver transplantation in children was used to prepare slices and isolated hepatocytes. The viability of these preparations as well as drug transport and metabolism functions were determined and related to graft function in 32 liver recipients. Results: The in vitro tests used in the present study apparently did not select non-viable livers. In vitro preparations of the primary non-function grafts which occurred in the investigated group showed normal viability, metabolic and uptake function. Conclusion: These results indicate that either the presently used viability tests are not sensitive enough to detect potential organ failure or that other factors besides the hepatocyte viability at the time of transplantation are of paramount importance to the graft function of the recipient, such as complications during and after transplantation or the viability of the non-parenchymal cells.