Blood cleanser good for liver
SEVERE ACUTE liver failure (ALF), a rare but life-threatening illness, is associated with high death rates if patients do not receive timely treatment or a liver transplant. Unlike the heart or the kidneys, there is no established mechanical device to replace the liver’s function.
Now, the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine researchers report that a device that removes toxins from the blood can also effectively provide a bridge to liver transplantation or buy time for an injured liver to heal, suggesting broader uses for the device.
The researchers, writing in Annals of Surgery, present the largest series of cases in the US in which the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System, or MARS®, has been used as temporary liver replacement for ALF.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the device to clear the liver after overdoses and poisonings, and reduce the effects of brain swelling related to liver failure. However, it is not Fda-approved as a bridge to transplant. —WFP