1. We assessed plasma total antioxidant capacity using enhanced chemiluminescence and plasma lipid peroxides in eight patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation and 26 healthy control subjects.
2. The antioxidant capacity of plasma decreased significantly on reperfusion of the donor liver (P < 0.05) during liver transplantation, although levels were not lower in patients than in control subjects.
3. Pre-reperfusion antioxidant capacity correlated negatively with the concentration of lipid peroxidation products appearing in the plasma by the end of the transplant (P < 0.02), but did not correlate with vitamin A or E concentrations.
4. This study provides evidence of oxidant stress during liver transplantation, as shown by antioxidant utilization associated with increased lipid peroxidation.