Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 11, pp 1817–1825 | Cite as

Molecular adsorbent recirculating system dialysis in patients with acute liver failure who are assessed for liver transplantation

  • Christophe CamusEmail author
  • Sylvain Lavoué
  • Arnaud Gacouin
  • Yves Le Tulzo
  • Richard Lorho
  • Karim Boudjéma
  • Christian Jacquelinet
  • Rémi Thomas



To assess the usefulness of dialysis with the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) in patients with acute liver failure who fulfil criteria for liver transplantation.


Observational cohort study.


ICU at a liver transplantation centre.


Twenty-two patients (23 episodes) received MARS dialysis. They were either listed for LT (n = 14), delayed (n = 1), or not listed (contra-indication, n = 7).


A total of 56 MARS treatments (median per patient 2; mean duration 7.6 ± 2.6 h) were performed on haemodialysis.

Measurements and results

Clinical and biological variables were assessed before and 24 h after MARS therapy. The rate of recovery of liver function without transplantation was compared with an expected rate and survival was analysed.

Following MARS dialysis, we observed an improvement in the grade of hepatic encephalopathy (P = 0.02) and the Glasgow coma score (P = 0.02), a decrease in conjugated bilirubin (P = 0.05) and INR (P = 0.006), and an increase in prothrombin index (P = 0.005). Overall, liver function improved in seven patients (32%): four listed patients in whom transplantation could be avoided and three patients among those not listed due to contra-indications. The transplant-free recovery rate in listed patients was 29% (vs. expected 9%, P = 0.036). Listed patients (n = 14) had a higher 30-day survival rate [86% (12/14) vs 38% (3/8), P = 0.05] and a higher long-term survival rate (P = 0.02).


A statistically significant improvement of liver function was observed after MARS therapy. Transplant-free recovery was more frequent than expected. The apparent benefit of MARS dialysis to treat acute liver failure needs to be confirmed by a controlled study.


Hepatic Encephalopathy Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Acute Liver Failure Fresh Freeze Plasma Glasgow Coma Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Camus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sylvain Lavoué
    • 1
  • Arnaud Gacouin
    • 1
  • Yves Le Tulzo
    • 1
  • Richard Lorho
    • 2
  • Karim Boudjéma
    • 3
  • Christian Jacquelinet
    • 4
  • Rémi Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de Maladies Infectieuses et Réanimation MédicaleHôpital PontchaillouRennes CedexFrance
  2. 2.Service des Maladies du FoieHôpital PontchaillouRennes CedexFrance
  3. 3.Département de Chirurgie ViscéraleHôpital PontchaillouRennes CedexFrance
  4. 4.Agence de la Biomédecine, 1Saint DenisFrance

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