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J Surg Res. 1999 Apr;82(2):121-30.

An improved model of galactosamine-induced fulminant hepatic failure in the pig.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, 169608.


Fulminant hepatic failure is a serious condition with very high mortality. Development of new therapies designed to bridge the patient through the acute period of their disease has been hampered by the lack of a large animal model that closely reproduces the changes in humans. We have established an improved model of fulminant hepatic failure in the pig by administration of an aminosugar d-galactosamine hydrochloride. Galactosamine in a dose of 1.0 g/kg was dissolved in 5% dextrose in water (D5W) and given intravenously to seven young pigs weighing 8 to 15 kg. Seven control pigs received an equal volume of D5W alone. Two days prior to injection, a baseline ultrasound-guided liver biopsy was done in each pig under general anesthesia using isofluorane. Clinical data were recorded and blood for laboratory determinations was drawn at 0 h (baseline), 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h after infusion of galactosamine or D5W alone, under general anesthesia. Neurological data were recorded at the same intervals before inducing anesthesia. Galactosamine-treated animals showed 100% mortality. All of them died by 86 h after injection of galactosamine, with death resulting from fulminant hepatic failure characterized by marked increases in total bilirubin, liver enzymes, ammonia, and lactate; associated coagulopathy; hypoglycemia; and coma. Liver histology showed massive hepatocellular necrosis in all seven galactosamine-treated animals. This large and highly reproducible animal model appears promising for future evaluation of bioartificial liver support systems designed to treat fulminant hepatic failure in humans.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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