Most organs for transplantation are currently procured from brain-dead donors; however, brain death is an important risk factor in liver transplantation. In addition, to counteract the shortage of liver grafts, transplant centers accept the use of sub-optimal livers, which may show higher risk of primary non-function or initial poor function. Very few literatures exist regarding liver transplantation using brain-dead donors, or about brain death and its effects on sub-optimal grafts in such surgical situation. This chapter aims to describe the pathophysiological changes occurring in liver grafts during brain death and focuses on the strengths and limitations of experimental models used to study the effect of brain death on optimal and sub-optimal (specially steatotic) liver grafts. Depending on the use of experimental models that simulate as much as possible the surgical conditions present in clinical practice, therapeutic strategies designed in animal models could be more successfully translated to the bedside.
Part of the book: Organ Donation and Transplantation