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Transplant Surgery Research

The transplant unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is the largest abdominal organ transplant centre in NSW and home to the Australian National Liver Transplant Unit. The  department has many active research projects, primarily in the fields of organ preservation and regeneration, transplant oncology and clinical outcomes.

Surgeon and scientists with the surgical Liver Transplant Research Program conduct basic science research and clinical research directed at improving care before, during and after liver transplant for patients with liver failure and certain malignancies.

The RPA Translational Centre for Organ Assessment, Repair, and Optimisation (COARO) was established in 2018. The COARO has assembled a research team that is uniquely suited to integrate modern knowledge of organ perfusion4-6, bioengineering, ischemia-reperfusion injury, metabolism, and liver transplantation. The COARO is the first and only centre that has preserved human livers for up to 13 days under normothermic conditions.

Our Research Team

Dr Michael Crawford Head of Department
Associate Professor Carlo Pulitano Director of RPA Translational Centre for Organ Assessment, Repair, and Optimisation and the liver transplant oncology program
Associate Professor Jerome Laurence Research lead in renal transplantation
Chuanmin Wang Senior Hospital Scientist
Sumon Chanda Perfusionist
Paul Yousif Perfusionist
Daniel Babekuhl PhD student
Dr Andrew Jacques PhD student
Dr Soon Lau PhD student
Dr Mark Ly PhD student
Anita Niu Masters student
Charles Risbey PhD student
Victor Yu Masters student

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$150,000 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), 2022-2023
Development of an Automate system for Preservation of a Metabolically Active Liver For More Than 2 Weeks.
Investigator: Pulitano C
$150,000 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), 2021-2022
Long term ex-vivo perfusion
Investigator: Pulitano C

Our Publications

2022

Chetwood JD, Wells MG, Tsoutsman T, Pulitano C, Crawford MD, Liu K, Strasser SI, McCaughan GW, Majumdar A. MELD-GRAIL and MELD-GRAIL-Na Are Not Superior to MELD or MELD-Na in Predicting Liver Transplant Waiting List Mortality at a Single-center Level. Transplant Direct. 2022 Jun 10;8(7):e1346. doi: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000001346. PMID: 35706607; PMCID: PMC9191558.
Dennis C, Prince DS, Moayed-Alaei L, Remash D, Carr-Boyd E, Bowen DG, Strasser SI, Crawford M, Pulitano C, Kench J, McCaughan GW, McKenzie C, Liu K. Association between vessels that encapsulate tumour clusters vascular pattern and hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence following liver transplantation. Front Oncol. 2022 Oct 26;12:997093. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.997093. PMID: 36387254; PMCID: PMC9643778.
Dip F, Boni L, Bouvet M, Carus T, Diana M, Falco J, Gurtner GC, Ishizawa T, Kokudo N, Lo Menzo E, Low PS, Masia J, Muehrcke D, Papay FA, Pulitano C, Schneider-Koraith S, Sherwinter D, Spinoglio G, Stassen L, Urano Y, Vahrmeijer A, Vibert E, Warram J, Wexner SD, White K, Rosenthal RJ. Consensus Conference Statement on the General Use of Near-infrared Fluorescence Imaging and Indocyanine Green Guided Surgery: Results of a Modified Delphi Study. Ann Surg. 2022 Apr 1;275(4):685-691. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000004412. PMID: 33214476; PMCID: PMC8906245.
Franssen S, Soares KC, Jolissaint JS, Tsilimigras DI, Buettner S, Alexandrescu S, Marques H, Lamelas J, Aldrighetti L, Gamblin TC, Maithel SK, Pulitano C, Margonis GA, Weiss MJ, Bauer TW, Shen F, Poultsides GA, Marsh JW, Cercek A, Kemeny N, Kingham TP, D'Angelica M, Pawlik TM, Jarnagin WR, Koerkamp BG. Comparison of Hepatic Arterial Infusion Pump Chemotherapy vs Resection for Patients With Multifocal Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma. JAMA Surg. 2022 Jul 1;157(7):590-596. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2022.1298. PMID: 35544131; PMCID: PMC9096688.
Lau NS, Ly M, Dennis C, Liu K, Kench J, Crawford M, Pulitano C. Long-term normothermic perfusion of human livers for longer than 12 days. Artif Organs. 2022 Dec;46(12):2504-2510. doi: 10.1111/aor.14372. Epub 2022 Aug 5. PMID: 35929443; PMCID: PMC9805080.
Lau NS, Ly M, Liu K, Majumdar A, McCaughan G, Crawford M, Pulitano C. Current and Potential Applications for Indocyanine Green in Liver Transplantation. Transplantation. 2022 Jul 1;106(7):1339-1350. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000004024. Epub 2021 Dec 27. PMID: 34966106.
Lau NS, Ly M, Liu K, Majumdar A, Strasser SI, Biswas RK, McCaughan GW, Crawford M, Pulitano C. Is it safe to expand the indications for split liver transplantation in adults? A single-center analysis of 155 in-situ splits. Clin Transplant. 2022 Jul;36(7):e14673. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14673. Epub 2022 Apr 26. PMID: 35441379; PMCID: PMC9541812.
Ly M, Lau NS, McKenzie C, Kench JG, McCaughan G, Crawford M, Pulitano C. The Delay of Arterialization After Initial Portal Reperfusion More Than Warm Ischemia Time May Determine Ischemic-type Biliary Injury. Transplantation. 2022 Feb 1;106(2):e167-e168. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003936. PMID: 35100229.
Nguyen CL, Tam SKM, Easwaralingam N, Seah JL, Comerford AP, Yu ACX, Mak C, Pulitano C, Warrier SK. Patterns of ischaemia and reperfusion in nipple-sparing mastectomy reconstruction with indocyanine green angiography. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2022 Nov;75(11):4144-4151. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2022.08.006. Epub 2022 Aug 5. PMID: 36167708.
Salimi S, Pandya K, Davis RJ, Crawford M, Pulitano C, Strasser SI, McCaughan GW, Majumdar A, Liu K. Impact of Intensive Care Unit Discharge Delay on Liver Transplantation Outcomes. J Clin Med. 2022 May 2;11(9):2561. doi: 10.3390/jcm11092561. PMID: 35566687; PMCID: PMC9101850.
Spolverato G, Capelli G, Lorenzoni G, Gregori D, He J, Popescu I, Marques HP, Aldrighetti L, Maithel SK, Pulitano C, Bauer TW, Shen F, Poultsides GA, Soubrane O, Martel G, Koerkamp BG, Itaru E, Lv Y, Pawlik TM. ASO Visual Abstract: Dynamic Prediction of Survival After Curative Resection of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma: A Landmarking-Based Analysis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Nov;29(12):7644-7645. doi: 10.1245/s10434-022-12290-w. PMID: 35904657.
Spolverato G, Capelli G, Lorenzoni G, Gregori D, He J, Popescu I, Marques HP, Aldrighetti L, Maithel SK, Pulitano C, Bauer TW, Shen F, Poultsides GA, Soubrane O, Martel G, Koerkamp BG, Itaru E, Lv Y, Pawlik TM. Dynamic Prediction of Survival After Curative Resection of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma: A Landmarking-Based Analysis. Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Nov;29(12):7634-7641. doi: 10.1245/s10434-022-12156-1. Epub 2022 Jul 24. PMID: 35871669.
Tsilimigras DI, Ejaz A, Cloyd J, Guglielmi A, Aldrighetti L, Weiss M, Bauer TW, Alexandrescu S, Poultsides GA, Maithel SK, Marques HP, Martel G, Pulitano C, Shen F, Soubrane O, Koerkamp BG, Endo I, Pawlik TM. Tumor Necrosis Impacts Prognosis of Patients Undergoing Resection for T1 Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma. Ann Surg Oncol. 2022 Mar 17. doi: 10.1245/s10434-022-11462-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35298762.
Wei T, Zhang XF, He J, Popescu I, Marques HP, Aldrighetti L, Maithel SK, Pulitano C, Bauer TW, Shen F, Poultsides GA, Soubrane O, Martel G, Koerkamp BG, Itaru E, Lv Y, Pawlik TM. Prognostic impact of perineural invasion in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: multicentre study. Br J Surg. 2022 Jun 14;109(7):610-616. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znac098. PMID: 35511599.
Yu V, Ebrahimi N, Cachalia T, Jacques A, Wyburn K, McCaughan GW, Dunkley S, Crawford MD, Pulitano C, Laurence JM. Combined Liver-Kidney Transplant for Juvenile Polycystic Kidney Disease and Concomitant Hereditary Factor V Deficiency. Exp Clin Transplant. 2022 Nov;20(11):1043-1045. doi: 10.6002/ect.2022.0229. PMID: 36524891.