Extended ex vivo normothermic perfusion for preservation of vascularized composite allografts

Vahe Fahradyan, Sayf Al deen Said, Carlos Ordenana, Edoardo Dalla Pozza, Russell Frautschi, Eliana F.R. Duraes, Maria Madajka-Niemeyer, Frank A. Papay, Antonio Rampazzo, Bahar Bassiri Gharb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Ischemia and reperfusion injury remains a significant limiting factor for the successful revascularization of amputated extremities. Ex vivo normothermic perfusion is a novel approach to prolong the viability of the amputated limbs by maintaining physiologic cellular metabolism. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of extended ex vivo normothermic limb perfusion (EVNLP) in preserving the viability of amputated limbs for over 24 hours. A total of 10 porcine forelimbs underwent EVNLP. Limbs were perfused using an oxygenated colloid solution at 38°C containing washed RBCs. Five forelimbs (Group A) were perfused for 12 hours and the following 5 (Group B) until the vascular resistance increased. Contralateral forelimbs in each group were preserved at 4°C as a cold storage control group. Limb viability was compared between the 2 groups through assessment of muscle contractility, compartment pressure, tissue oxygen saturation, indocyanine green (ICG) angiography and thermography. EVNLP was performed for 12 hours in group A and up to 44 hours (24-44 hours) in group B. The final weight increase (−1.28 ± 8.59% vs. 7.28 ± 15.05%, P =.548) and compartment pressure (16.50 ± 8.60 vs. 24.00 ± 9.10) (P =.151) were not significantly different between the two groups. Final myoglobin and CK mean values in group A and B were: 875.0 ± 325.8 ng/mL (A) versus 1133.8 ± 537.7 ng/mL (B) (P =.056) and 53 344.0 ± 16 603.0 U/L versus 64 333.3 ± 32 481.8 U/L (P =.286). Tissue oxygen saturation was stable until the end in both groups. Infra-red thermography and ICG-angiography detected variations of peripheral limb perfusion. Our results suggest that extended normothermic preservation of amputated limbs is feasible and that the outcomes of prolonged EVNLP (>24 hours) are not significantly different from short EVNLP (12 hours).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-855
Number of pages10
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • amputation
  • ex situ normothermic limb perfusion
  • ex situ normothermic perfusion
  • ex vivo normothermic limb perfusion
  • ex vivo normothermic perfusion
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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