1. Living-related liver transplantation has some advantages in the evaluation of novel clinical protocols, since many complicated factors affecting initial graft function are almost uniform in grafts obtained from healthy donors.

2. To compare histidine—tryptophan—ketoglutarate (HTK) and University of Wisconsin (UW) solution in terms of tissue oxygenation in living-related liver transplantation, oxygen saturation of haemoglobin (SO2) in hepatic tissue and its heterogeneity (CV, coefficient of variation) were measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. The HTK and UW groups consisted of 15 and 49 successful transplants respectively, in which no statistical differences in background were observed.

3. In the HTK group, hepatic SO2 after portal vein reflow was higher (P<0.01) than that in the UW group, as was that after hepatic artery reflow (P<0.05). In the UW group, hepatic SO2 remained at the lower level at the end of the operation.

4. Furthermore, the increase in CV after portal vein reflow was normalized after hepatic artery reflow in the HTK group. However, the CV remained at a high level at the end of the operation in the UW group.

5. Postoperative peak aspartate aminotransferase level in the HTK group was lower than that in the UW group (P<0.05).

6. In cadaveric liver transplantation, higher hepatic SO2 and lower CV of hepatic SO2 in the early phase after reperfusion compared with the UW group (n = 18) were also observed in the HTK group (n = 30) (P<0.05).

7. In conclusion, recovery of tissue oxygenation and its heterogeneity after reperfusion in HTK-preserved livers were more rapid and homogeneous than in UW-preserved livers in living-related liver transplantation. Accordingly, HTK solution may be a potential alternative to UW solution.

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