Previous studies have shown a protective effect of trifluoperazine (TFP), a calmodulin inhibitor, upon the microcirculation of cold-stored kidneys. The present study points to similar beneficial effects of TFP on the microcirculation of cold-stored livers; 25 canine livers were preserved for 24 hr with Euro-Collins’ solution (EC) (n=8), University of Wisconsin solution (UW) (n=7), or UW +; TFP (n=10). The stored livers underwent heterotopic transplantation (HLTX); hepatic-artery and portal-vein pressure and flow were monitored; oxygen consumption and extraction were measured before HLTX and at 15-min intervals after reperfusion, for 1 hr. Mean hepatic-artery and portal-vein flow (HAF & PVF) prior to donor hepatectomy were 172 and 530 cc/min, respectively. Poor HAF and PVF occurred in EC-HLTX (mean 35, 175 cc/min, respectively). The damaged EC-flushed livers could not compensate to the decreased hepatic blood flow by increased oxygen extraction (oxygen consumption and extraction, 8.7 vol.% and 48%, respectively). Light and electron microscopy showed severe liver necrosis and periportal hemorrhages. Improved hepatic-artery and portal-vein flows were seen in UW HLTX (105 and 254 cc/min), and oxygen consumption and extraction were 16.4 vol.% and 66%, respectively. Liver biopsy taken just before reperfusion revealed well-preserved liver architecture. Liver biopsy obtained 1 hr after reperfusion revealed marked edema of the portal triad, sinusoid congestion, and hemorrhage. Electron-microscopy biopsies obtained during reperfusion at 15-min intervals revealed severe vasospasm of the terminal hepatic arterioles and progressive damage to the liver microcirculation. The addition of TFP to the UW-flush solution resulted in excellent protection of the liver microcirculation. Marked increase in hepatic-artery and portal-vein blood flow was noted after reperfusion (mean 167 and 421 cc/min, respectively (P 0.02 vs. UW: P 0.001 vs. EC). The recovery of metabolic activity was evident by the high oxygen consumption and extraction (25.8 vol.% and 80%, respectively). And serial liver biopsies obtained after reperfusion have shown excellent protection of liver architecture and the absence of hepatic arteriolar vasospasm. Taken together, these data suggest that the addition of TFP to the UW solution protects the liver microcirculation by rendering the hepatic microcirculation insensitive to vasospastic stimuli during reperfusion, thus permitting better metabolic recovery after transplantation.