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Liver support in fulminant liver failure after hemorrhagic shock.

Faybik, Peter; Hetz, Hubert; Krenn, Claus-Georg; Baker, Amir; Germann, Peter; Berlakovich, Gabriela; Steininger, Rudolf; Steltzer, Heinz.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 115(15-16): 595-8, 2003 Sep 15.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-14531174
Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare clinical syndrome associated with a mortality of up to 80% and its management remains an interdisciplinary challenge. Despite recent improvements in intensive care management, the mortality of patients with ALF remains high and is related to complications such as cerebral edema, sepsis and multiple organ failure. Emergency orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is currently the only effective treatment for those patients who are unlikely to recover spontaneously. Nevertheless, OLT is not always possible because of the shortage of the organs and/or complications related to ALF. Newly introduced liver-assist devices can temporarily support the patient's liver until native liver recovers or can serve as a bridging device until a liver graft is available. The support devices use both cell-based and non-cell-based techniques. One of the latest non-cell-based extracorporeal hepatic support devices, the molecular adsorbent recycling system (MARS), is based on the concept of albumin dialysis. MARS utilises selective hemodiafiltration with countercurrent albumin dialysis aiming to selectively remove both water-soluble and albumin-bound toxins of the low and middle molecular-weight range. We report on a young patient who presented with clinical symptoms of ischemic hepatitis and multi-organ failure (APACHE II score 38-->predicted postoperative mortality 87%) due to prolonged hemorrhagic shock. OLT was contraindicated because of history of pancreas cancer with metastases. It was necessary to use aggressive conservative therapy and an extracorporeal liver-assist device until liver regeneration began and hemodynamic conditions were stable. The patient underwent five treatments with MARS. During the treatment, there were improvements of hemodynamics, respiratory function, acid-base disturbances and laboratory parameters. The plasma disappearance rate of indocyanine green, a parameter of dynamic liver function, improved during MARS treatment. Although repeated neurological examination predicted diffuse brain damage (brain oedema, decreased cerebral blood flow), the patient recovered without any neurological deficits. The patient survived and was discharged from the hospital in good condition. In this case MARS treatment was successful in supporting the patient through the most critical period of ALF.