Albumin Dialysis

[Extracorporeal Blood Purification in Severe Liver Failure with the Albumin Dialysis MARS(R) - Impact on Relevant Intensive Care Parameters.]

Mitzner S, Klammt S, Stange J, Noldge-Schomburg GF, Schmidt R.
Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 2005 Apr;40(4):199-206

Klinik und Poliklinik fur Innere Medizin (Direktor: Prof. Dr. med. habil. R. Schmidt), Universitat Rostock.

Extracorporeal liver support methods have been tested for over 50 years now. Standard techniques of blood purification like dialysis, adsorption, hemo- and plasmafiltration as well as bioreactor-based approaches using liver cells or tissues have been used.

Most clinical experience, however, is limited to use in acute liver failure (ALF). Since 1993, the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS(R)) has been used clinically - a system that combines dialysis, filtration and adsorption in a biocompatible method. Human serum albumin (HSA) acts as a selective molecular adsorbent binding protein-bound compounds like bile acids or bilirubin. These substances can contribute to the maintenance or even further aggravation of liver failure. They are linked with the pathogenesis of hyperdynamic hypotonic circulation, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal syndrome, impaired hepatic protein synthesis, and intractable pruritus seen in chronic liver failure. HSA takes over the toxic substances from a patient"s blood and passes through a remote detoxification process including bicarbonate-dialysis and a two-step adsorption. It is then recirculated in the patient's blood. Up to today, more than 4000 patients have been treated in approximately 16 000 single sessions. Thus, MARS(R) represents the most frequently used liver support method at the present time. In addition to ALF, mainly acute decompensations of chronic liver failures (ACLF) have been treated. The impact of the extracorporeal treatment on relevant medical parameters of intensive care medicine is discussed with regard to the specific situation of the liver-failure patient (susceptibility to infection, atypical picture and course of infection, coagulation disorders and bleeding tendencies).