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BACKGROUND: Advances in organ preservation, reconditioning and assessment have been driven by the increasing necessity to utilise organs from extended criteria donors, particularly donors after circulatory death. Research efforts in this area have aided translation of machine perfusion technology into clinical practice. Pigs are anatomically and physiologically similar to humans and are an excellent model. However, conducting large animal experimental research is challenging and typically limited by ethical and economic constraints. Here we describe a reproducible, cost-effective multi-organ abdominal procurement model of porcine organs from the slaughterhouse. METHODS: Domestic pigs are electrically stunned and exsanguinated following the standard abattoir process. Via a longitudinal midline incision, the thoracoabdominal viscera are removed en bloc by incising along the anterior vertebral plane. The abdominal organs are isolated, perfused and separated preserving their respective vasculature, allowing individual organ use for specific experiments. RESULTS: The warm ischaemic time is kept between 15-30 minutes. Using this highly protocolized procurement technique we have procured 12 livers, 162 kidneys and 12 pancreata for research, the majority of which have been utilized for ex situ perfusion experiments. CONCLUSIONS: We have described a reliable and reproducible procedure for abdominal multi-organ procurement from slaughterhouse pigs.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann transl med

Publication Date





Transplantation, donation after circulatory death (DCD), machine perfusion, organ preservation, tissue and organ harvesting