According to Scientists, a new storage machine has been found to be beneficial in maintaining freshness of donor kidneys for transplantation.
The European trial involving 366 pairs of kidneys found that the organs were less likely to fail within a year when stored this way, compared with being packed in ice for transportation.
AdvertisementThe traditional method involves flushing out a kidney with a special solution and then putting the organ into an ice filled box to keep it "fresh".
However, in recent years, 'cold infusion machines' have been developed, which are attached to the blood vessels supplying the kidney, and then push a steady flow of cool solution around them.
The study directly compared the performance of both methods by taking a pair of donor kidneys, putting one "on ice", and the other into a machine.
Two main indicators of success or failure were then measured, firstly, the survival of the transplanted organ in the 12 months after surgery, and secondly, a delay in the functioning of the donor kidney once placed into the recipient.
The researchers found that One-year survival was better in the machine stored kidneys - 94 percent compared with 90 percent and 70 out of 336 recipients developed "delayed function" compared with 89 out of 336 who received an ice-stored kidney.
Professor Rutger Ploeg, from the University Medical Center in Groningen, who led the trial, said it was a 'truly important' finding.
"This trial shows us that, regardless of the health of the donor, by using machine preservation we can ensure that there will be more kidneys available for transplantation and that they will be in better health," the BBC quoted Ploeg, as saying.
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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