Albumin Dialysis

Liver support by extracorporeal blood purification: a clinical observation.

Stange J, Mitzner SR, Klammt S, Freytag J, Peszynski P, Loock J, Hickstein H, Korten G, Schmidt R, Hentschel J, Schulz M, Lohr M, Liebe S, Schareck W, Hopt UT.

Liver Transpl 2000; 6(5):603-613.

Abstract: Liver failure associated with excretory insufficiency and jaundice results in an endogenous accumulation of toxins involved in the impairment of cardiovascular, kidney, and cerebral function. Moreover, these toxins have been shown to damage the liver itself by inducing hepatocellular apoptosis and necrosis, thus creating a vicious cycle of the disease. We report a retrospective cohort study of 26 patients with acute or chronic liver failure with intrahepatic cholestasis (bilirubin level > 20 mg/dL) who underwent a new extracorporeal blood purification treatment. A synthetic hydrophilic/hydrophobic domain-presenting semipermeable membrane (pore size < albumin size, 100-nm thick) was used for extracorporeal blood detoxification using dialysis equipment. The opposite side was rinsed with ligandin-like proteins as molecular adsorbents that were regenerated online using a chromatography-like recycling system (molecular adsorbent recirculating system [MARS]). Bile acid and bilirubin levels, representing the previously described toxins, were reduced by 16% to 53% and 10% to 90% of the initial concentration by a single treatment of 6 to 8 hours, respectively. Toxicity testing of patient plasma onto primary rat hepatocytes by live/dead fluorescence microscopy showed cell-damaging effects of jaundiced plasma that were not observed after treatment. Patients with a worsening of Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) index before the treatments showed a significant improvement of this index during a period of 2 to 14 single treatments with an average of 14 days. After withdrawal of MARS treatment, this improvement was sustained in all long-term survivors. Ten patients represented a clinical status equivalent to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status 2b (group A1), and all survived. Sixteen patients represented a clinical status equivalent to UNOS status 2a, and 7 of these patients survived (group A2), whereas 9 patients (group B) died. We conclude that in acute excretory failure caused by a chronic liver disease, this treatment provides a therapy option to remove toxins involved in multiorgan dysfunction secondary to liver failure


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