Brain death-induced cytokine release is not associated with primary graft dysfunction: a cohort study

ABSTRACT Objective: To examine the association between donor plasma cytokine levels and the development of primary graft dysfunction of organs transplanted from deceased donors. Methods: Seventeen deceased donors and the respective 47 transplant recipients were prospectively included in the study. Recipients were divided into two groups: group 1, patients who developed primary graft dysfunction; and group 2, patients who did not develop primary graft dysfunction. Donor plasma levels of TNF, IL-6, IL-1β, and IFN-γ assessed by ELISA were compared between groups. Results: Sixty-nine organs were retrieved, and 48 transplants were performed. Donor plasma cytokine levels did not differ between groups (in pg/mL): TNF, group 1: 10.8 (4.3 - 30.8) versus group 2: 8.7 (4.1 - 33.1), p = 0.63; IL-6, group 1: 1617.8 (106.7 - 5361.7) versus group 2: 922.9 (161.7 - 5361.7), p = 0.56; IL-1β, group 1: 0.1 (0.1 - 126.1) versus group 2: 0.1 (0.1 - 243.6), p = 0.60; and IFN-γ, group 1: 0.03 (0.02 - 0.2) versus group 2: 0.03 (0.02 - 0.1), p = 0.93). Similar findings were obtained when kidney transplants were analyzed separately. Conclusion: In this sample of transplant recipients, deceased donor plasma cytokines TNF, IL-6, IL-1β, and IFN-γ were not associated with the development of primary graft dysfunction.