Blood cleanser good for liver

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

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

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