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Liver Int. 2003;23 Suppl 3:10-5.

A 3-year experience with Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS): our results on 63 patients with hepatic failure and color Doppler US evaluation of cerebral perfusion.

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Department of Surgery, University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, Rome, Italy.


In our 3-year experience, we treated 63 patients with Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS). The patients were divided as follows: 10 primary non-function (PNF) 16%, 10 delayed non-function (DNF) 16%, 16 Fulminant hepatitis (FH) 24%, 23 acute decompensation of chronic liver disease (ACLF) 38%, and 4 hepatic resection 6%. All patients who underwent MARS treatment had bilirubin >15 mg/dL, Glasgow Coma Score between 9 and 11, ammonium >160 microg/dL and non-coagulability. The determining factors taken into consideration for the continuation of MARS treatment were: an improvement in Glasgow Coma Score, and a decrease in ammonium and bilirubin. We also monitored hemodynamic parameters, acid-base equilibrium, and blood gas analysis before and after each treatment. In order to determine patients' neurological conditions, we not only took into account the Glasgow Coma Score, which does not give mathematically precise results but also took into account the fact that patients with hepatic coma had lower cerebral mean velocity in the cerebral arteries than patients without encephalopathy. For this reason, in the last 22 patients we monitored cerebral perfusion, determined by mean flow velocity (Vmean) in the middle cerebral artery. Our results were expressed as mean +/- SD and we analyzed the differences between mean values for each variable, before and after treatment by means of Student's t-test. At the end of treatment, we obtained significant P-values for bilirubin, ammonium, Glasgow Coma Score and creatinine. In 16/20 patients, we could demonstrate a clear correlation between the improvement in clinical conditions (especially neurological status) and improvement in cerebral perfusion, measured by color Doppler US.

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