Transplant surgeons are currently faced with the challenge to accept marginal liver transplants due to steatosis or old age. Improving organ quality by implementing a selective organ protective donor management could be the first step towards a graft of enhanced quality. However, the molecular mechanisms of such treatments are still poorly understood. Glucocorticoid medication in donor medicine has been carried out and discussed for a long time. In a recent study published in Clinical Science, Jiménez-Castro et al. [Clin. Sci. (2017) 131, 733-746] demonstrate how liver histology and transplant liver function can be improved by administration of glucocorticoids to brain-dead donor rats with steatotic livers. This work illustrates the need for further trials in order to selectively improve the quality of steatotic livers with a potential for liver transplantation.

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