Measuring Liver Function in the Brain Dead Donor

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Liver function of a brain dead adult organ donor, could be measured with a portable finger-probe.

University of California Los Angeles’ Dr. Ali Zarrinpar and his team, along with the help of OneLegacy, the non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area, have been studying the use of this device, to test for liver function. According to Dr. Zarrinpar, it is the best single predictor of the viability of a liver for transplant without having to visually inspect the organ first.

The device operates like a pulse oximeter. A finger probe is placed on the donor’s finger and the device measures the rate at which a dye, indocyanine green, injected into the donor’s bloodstream, is cleared by the liver (indocyanine green plasma disappearance rates, ICG-PDR).

The findings in Dr. Zarrinpar’s early study warrant exploration in a larger trial to evaluate for efficacy of use of this device and if successful, could save money and increase liver transplantation.

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Image taken from biosciencetechnology article.


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