Research

Liver transplant research at Mayo Clinic

Doctors at Mayo Clinic research liver transplant innovations to improve care.

The lifesaving potential of bioartificial livers

Researchers are developing a bioartificial liver.

Click here for an infographic to learn more

Mayo Clinic scientists, doctors and surgeons develop liver transplant insights and innovations that make transplants safer and available to more people. They conduct laboratory studies, clinical trials and other research on many aspects of conditions related to liver transplantation, such as:

  • Bioartificial liver. This innovation helps patients cope as they await a donor liver. Developed by Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers, new bioartificial livers use living cells from pig livers to filter a patient's blood in a process similar to that of kidney dialysis. The device is being tested before it becomes available in clinics and hospitals.
  • Pulmonary complications of liver disease. Research into the causes and possible treatments of pulmonary artery high blood pressure may allow safe liver transplant in some people.
  • Magnetic resonance elastography. This innovative technology was developed by Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers as a noninvasive way to test for liver scarring. Someday it may reduce the need for liver biopsies in people with liver disease.
  • Immunosuppressive medications. One of many studies in this area examines the effect of antibody-mediated injury in liver-kidney transplants and how doing a multiorgan transplant may actually result in better outcomes. Mayo Clinic is also working with Transplant Genomics Inc. to develop, validate and commercialize diagnostic tests enabling personalized immunosuppression for solid organ transplant recipients.
  • Maximizing organ donors. Mayo transplant surgeons found that liver cancer patients have the same beneficial outcomes using organs donated by patients who died of cardiac death rather than brain death.
  • Cell therapies for liver disease. This research offers potential new treatments for several liver diseases and may improve the success of liver transplantation.
  • Triage system. Mayo Clinic researchers originally proposed, designed and tested the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD). This system prioritizes people waiting for a transplant based on the severity of their condition and how urgently they may need a transplant.

Mayo Clinic's researchers often collaborate with colleagues throughout the United States and internationally who are committed to improving outcomes and care for people with liver disease.

You may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. Read more about the many liver transplant research studies supported by the Transplant Research Center.

Liver subspecialty laboratories

Advanced liver diseases

Liver pathobiology

Liver regeneration

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Watch Mark Stegall, M.D., and Richard Daly, M.D., discuss lowering rejection risk in organ transplants.

Dec. 02, 2016
References
  1. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. http://www.srtr.org/default.aspx. April 11, 2016.
  2. U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News Best Hospitals 2015-16. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
  3. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Liver transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  4. Eggebraaten KR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 23, 2016.
  5. Barbara DW, et al. The perioperative management of patients undergoing combined heart-liver transplantation. Transplantation. 2015;99:139.
  6. Bulatao IG, et al. Avoiding stay in the intensive care unit after liver transplantation: A score to assign location of care. American Journal of Transplantation. 2014;14:2088.
  7. Heimbach JK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 28, 2016.
  8. Stulak JM, et al. Combined heart and abdominal organ transplantation: Excellent outcomes gained from a unique experience. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2014;33:S278.
  9. Ibrahim SH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 14, 2016.
  10. Glorioso JM, et al. Pivotal preclinical trial of the spheroid reservoir bioartificial liver. Journal of Hepatology. 2015;63:388.
  11. Heimbach JK, et al. Combined liver transplantation and gastric sleeve resection for patients with medically complicated obesity and end-stage liver disease. American Journal of Transplantation. 2013;13:363.
  12. Murad SD, et al. Long-term clinical and radiological follow up of living liver donors. Liver Transplantation. In press. Accessed May 11, 2016.
  13. Murad SD, et al. Predictors of pretransplant dropout and posttransplant recurrence in patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. Hepatology. 2012;56:973.
  14. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. About your child's liver transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2009.
  15. Rizvi S, et al. Primary sclerosing cholangitis as a premalignant biliary tract disease: Surveillance and management. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2015;13:2152.
  16. Taner T, et al. Decreased chronic cellular and antibody-mediated injury in the kidney following simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation. Kidney International. 2016;89:909.
  17. Watt KD, et al. A practical guide to the management of HCV infection following liver transplantation. American Journal of Transplantation. 2009;9:1707.
  18. Rosen CB, et al. Liver transplantation for cholangiocarcinoma. Transplant International. 2010;23:692.
  19. Raichlin E, et al. Combined heart and liver transplantation: A single-center experience. Transplantation. 2009;88:219.
  20. Nagourney E. 'Domino' transplants: Rare and risky. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/02/health/domino-transplants-rare-and-risky.html. Accessed May 12, 2016.
  21. Kitchens WH. Domino liver transplantation: Indications, techniques, and outcomes. Transplantation Reviews. 2011;25:167.
  22. Yu Y, et al. Cell therapies for liver diseases. Liver Transplantation. 2012;18:9.
  23. Croome KP, et al. The use of donation after cardiac death allografts does not increase recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma. American Journal of Transplantation. 2015;15:2704.
  24. De Assuncao TM, et al. Development and characterization of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cholangiocytes. Laboratory Investigation. 2015;95:684.
  25. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 15, 2016.
  26. Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 22, 2016.
  27. Cook AJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 2, 2014.
  28. Krowka MJ, et al. International Liver Transplant Society practice guidelines: Diagnosis and management of hepatopulmonary syndrome and portopulmonary hypertension. Transplantation. 2016;100:1440.
  29. Patel K, et al. FibroSURE and FibroScan in relation to treatment response in chronic hepatitis C virus. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;17:4581.
  30. Singh S, et al. Magnetic resonance elastography for staging liver fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A diagnostic accuracy systematic review and individual participant data pooled analysis. European Radiology. 2016;26:1431.
  31. Han L, et al. Extracorporeal liver support and liver transplant for patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure. Seminars in Liver Disease. 2016;36:153. https://www.thieme-connect.de/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0036-1583197. Accessed June 29, 2016.
  32. Gallagher C. Transplant genomics enters collaboration with Mayo Clinic (news release). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2016.
  33. Heilman RL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. June 24, 2016.