Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 47–53 | Cite as

Fulminant Hepatic Failure Bridged to Liver Transplantation with a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System: A Single-Center Experience

  • Cataldo Doria
  • Lucio Mandalá
  • Victor L. Scott
  • Salvatore Gruttadauria
  • Ignazio R. Marino


We herein describe the clinical course of a consecutive series of fulminant hepatic failure patients treated with a molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS), a cell-free albumin dialysis technique. From November 2000 to September 2002, seven adult patients ages 22–61 (median, 41), one male (14.2%) and six females (85.7%), affected by fulminant hepatic failure underwent seven courses (one to five sessions each, 6 hr in duration) of extracorporeal support using the MARS technique. Pre- and posttreatment blood glucose, liver function tests, ammonia, arterial lactate, electrolytes, hemodynamic parameters, arterial blood gases, liver histology, Glasgow Coma Scale, and coagulation studies were reviewed. No adverse side effects such as generalized bleeding on noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, often seen during MARS treatment, occurred in the patients included in this study. Six patients (85.7%) are currently alive and well, and one (14.2%) died. Four patients (57%) were successfully bridged (two patients in 1 day and two other patients in 4 days) to liver transplantation, while two (5%) recovered fully without transplantation. All the measured variables stabilized after commencement of the MARS. No differences were noted between the pre- and the post-MARS histology. We conclude that the MARS is a safe, temporary life support mechanism for patients awaiting liver transplantation or recovering from fulminant hepatic failure.

Key Words

albumin dialysis extracorporeal liver assist device fulminant hepatitis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cataldo Doria
    • 1
    • 4
  • Lucio Mandalá
    • 2
  • Victor L. Scott
    • 3
  • Salvatore Gruttadauria
    • 2
  • Ignazio R. Marino
    • 1
  1. 1.Transplant Division, Department of SurgeryJefferson Medical College–Thomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryIstituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione IsMeTT–UPMCPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyMaricopa Medical CenterPhoenixUSA
  4. 4.Transplant DivisionJefferson Medical College–Thomas Jefferson University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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