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The clinical and histologic features of the liver homografts of long term dog survivors following orthotopic hepatic homotransplantation have recently been described (1). The liver function of 9 of these animals was studied 98 to 442 days after operation. In each case immunosuppressive therapy was discontinued from 110 to 131 days after transplantation. In 1 (SS-4), subsequent deterioration of homograft function occurred necessitating resumption of azathioprine.
The results of standard liver function tests are shown in Table I. One animal (S35-4) was completely normal; the other 8 showed varying degrees of hepatic dysfunction. A 5 hr. glucose tolerance test was normal in 5 of 6 dogs. Normal hyperglycemic response to 100 μg. of intravenous glucagon was present in 5 of 7 animals tested, while a minimal glycogenolytic response appeared in 2 (SS-4; Sch-9). In 5 dogs with good liver function, plasma cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides were normal both on a regular kennel diet and a 117 gm. per day fat diet.
In general the hepatic functional derangements paralleled the microscopic abnormalities previously described (1). The causes of the 4 deaths were liver failure (ICBM-13; SS-4), liver failure and a bleeding duodenal ulcer (I-10), and perforated duodenal ulcer (S35-18). The clinical condition of the survivors corresponds to their liver function. This long term retention of life-sustaining liver function after hepatic homotransplantation is distinctly encouraging.