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Keywords:

  • Donation after cardiac death;
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation;
  • ischemic cholangiopathy;
  • liver transplant

Maastricht type 2 donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors suffer sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest, typically outside the hospital; they have significant potential to expand the donor pool. Herein, we analyze the results of transplanted livers and all potential donors treated under our type 2 DCD protocol. Cardiac arrest was witnessed; potential donors arrived at the hospital after attempts at resuscitation had failed. Death was declared based on the absence of cardiorespiratory activity during a 5-min no-touch period. Femoral vessels were cannulated to establish normothermic extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which was maintained until organ recovery. From April 2002 to December 2010, there were 400 potential donors; 34 liver transplants were performed (9%). Among recipients, median age, model for end-stage liver disease and cold and reperfusion warm ischemic times were 55 years (49–60), 19 (14–21) and 380 (325–430) and 30 min (26–35), respectively. Overall, 236 (59%) and 130 (32%) livers were turned down due to absolute and relative contraindications to donate, respectively. One-year recipient and graft survivals were 82% and 70%, respectively (median follow-up 24 months). The applicability of type 2 DCD liver transplant was <10%; however, with better preservation technology and expanded transplant criteria, we may be able to improve this figure significantly.