Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is currently the elective treatment for advanced liver cirrhosis and acute liver failure. Ischemia/reperfusion damage may jeopardize graft function during the postoperative period. Cardiotrophin-1 (CT-1) has demonstrated cytoprotective properties in different experimental models of liver injury. There is no evidence to demonstrate its potential use in the prevention of the ischemia/reperfusion injury that occurs during OLT. The present study is the first report to show that the administration of CT-1 to donors would benefit the outcome of OLT.