ISMETT: protect livers to be used for transplants to improve their outcomes


Protect donated livers from the risks of ischemic and reperfusion injury, improving transplants’ clinical outcomes.  This is the goal of the clinical research that started a few months ago at IRCCS-ISMETT. The new trial studies the benefits of administering simvastatin to deceased donors to prevent ischemic and reperfusion injury. These circumstances are likely to occur when blood flows back to an organ after a period of suspension, and represent one of the major complications after a liver transplant.  

Being able to reduce ischemic injury is very important, especially in a region like Sicily where the number of donors is lower compared to the rest of Italy, and mainly limited to marginal donors.

Intravenous infusions of simvastatin have already been administered to donors before the transplant in six liver transplants performed at ISMETT in the last two months. “All transplant recipients are in good general conditions,” said Dr. Salvatore Gruttadauria, Director of the Department for the Treatment and Study of Abdominal Diseases and Abdominal Transplantation of ISMETT. “The results of the study will be disclosed at the end of the randomized clinical trial, which aims to study a therapeutic option to optimize the quality of donated grafts in a region that has suffers a shortage of available organs. This study project was possible thanks to collaboration between researchers of two Sicilian centers of excellence: IRCCS-ISMETT and the Ri.MED Foundation.”

The project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Health with the 2013 Finalized Research Call (Project Code: GR-2013-02357764 – The addition of simvastatin portal venous infusion to cold storage solution of explanted whole liver grafts for facing ischemia/reperfusion injury in an area with low rate of deceased donation.  Project Type: Young Researcher (under 40 years)/Giovani Ricercatori).