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Albumin dialysis with MARS for the treatment of anabolic steroid-induced cholestasis

Francia C. Díaz, Esteban Sáez-González, Salvador Benlloch, Diego Álvarez-Sotomayor, Isabel Conde, Begoña Polo, María García, María Rodríguez, Martín Prieto


Background and aims. Steroid-related hepatotoxicity has become one of the most relevant causes of drug induced liver cholestasis. Some patients do not improve after standard medical treatment (SMT) and may therefore require other approaches, like extracorporeal liver support. Material and methods. We report four cases of patients with pruritus, abnormal liver function tests and biopsy-proven anabolic steroid-induced cholestasis who were unresponsive to SMT. They underwent treatment with albumin dialysis (Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System -MARS®-). A minimum of two MARS sessions were performed. Results. After MARS® procedure, patients' symptoms improved, as well as liver function tests, thus avoiding liver transplantation. Conclusion. Albumin dialysis appears as a valuable therapeutic option for the management of anabolic steroid-induced cholestasis in patients that are unresponsive to SMT.

Key words. Drug-induced liver disease, Cholestasis, Liver failure, Extracorporeal liver support, Pruritus

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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