Laura Esthela Cisneros-Garza, Ma. del Rosario Muñoz-Ramírez, Linda Elsa Muñoz-Espinoza, José Antonio Velarde Ruiz Velasco, Rosalba Moreno-Alcántar, Eduardo Marín-López, Nahum Méndez-Sánchez
Aim. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the molecular absorbent recirculating system (MARS) on patients with acute liver failure (ALF) and liver failure with cirrhosis (AoCLF) as well as in cholestatic patients with intractable pruritus in a Mexican population. Material and methods. From August 2003 to December 2011, MARS was used in 38 patients with ALF, 15 patients with AoCLF, and 17 cholestatic patients with intractable pruritus. The patients were examined using a standard liver function test and for vital signs, presence of ascites and encephalopathy before and after each treatment. The therapeutic response, patient status, follow-up status, and need for liver transplantation were determined. Results. Seventy-nine MARS procedures were performed. MARS was used for ALF in 54.3% of patients, AoCLF in 24.2%, and cholestatic disease in 21.5%. There were significant improvements in serum bilirubin (p = 0.000), aspartate aminotransferase (p = 0.000), alanine aminotransferase (p = 0.030), gamma-glytamyl transpeptidase (p = 0.044), alkaline phosphatase (p = 0.006), and encephalopathy grade (p = 0.000). Thirty-eight ALF patients were listed for emergency liver transplantation and treated with MARS; 20 of these patients died on a waiting list, 18 survived. only four underwent liver transplantation and 14 (37%) recovered without transplantation after the MARS procedure. Conclusion. MARS is a safe and effective procedure, especially for ALF patients. Our results suggest that MARS therapy can contribute to native liver recovery in ALF patients.
Key words. Acute liver failure, Acute on chronic liver failure, Cholestatic disease, Liver transplantation