Background: Determination of indocyanine green (ICG) plasma disappearance rate (PDR) is a simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive tool to assess liver perfusion, absorption, and elimination. Its application in the liver transplant process has not been widely incorporated in clinical practice. This study aims to assess the usefulness of ICG PDR in the donor selection setting and in the early post-transplant phase and to analyze its variation between these 2 time points.
Methods: We performed a single-center prospective observational study. ICG clearance test was performed in 50 brain-dead donors (T0-PDR) to assess concordance with graft suitability. Rejected grafts biopsy specimens were analyzed to correlate histology with T0-PDR. In the recipients, ICG PDR was performed before wound closure (T1-PDR). The association of T0, T1, and T0-T1 variation with the development of early allograft dysfunction (EAD) was investigated.
Results: A total of 23 of 50 grafts were discarded because of poor macroscopic quality. A T0-PDR below 15.5%/min could predict graft rejection with 100% specificity and 69.6% sensitivity. All the biopsy specimens from donors with PDR < 10 %/min showed liver fibrosis. A total of 25 of the remaining 27 grafts were implanted; 5 patients (20%) developed EAD. T1-PDR performed better than T0-T1 variation to predict dysfunction.
Conclusions: ICG PDR could be used in the donors as a filter to discard poor-quality grafts before procurement and, in the early post-transplant phase, to predict EAD.