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Turk J Gastroenterol. 2003 Sep;14(3):164-7.

Experience with liver dialysis in acetaminophen induced fulminant hepatic failure: a preliminary report.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Türkiye Yüksek Ihtisas Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.



Our aim was to assess the efficacy of the liver dialysis unit (LDU) in the treatment of patients with acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure.


Seventeen patients with acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure between January 1996 and December 2001 were retrospectively studied. A liver dialysis unit became available in our Unit in July 2000, and as of December 2001, four of these 17 patients had undergone treatment with liver dialysis.


Mean age was 29 years (range: 14-47) and 76% were women. Four of 17 patients underwent a total of 12 (range: 1-4) LDU sessions. Ammonia level tended to be lower following the LDU and all four patients recovered without a need for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Prior to July 2000, eight of 13 patients survived with supportive therapy, three expired and two underwent OLT. No major bleeding episodes were observed during the LDU course. A significant difference was found between the three cases who died and the cases that survived with respect to the grade of encephalopathy (p<0.001). There was significant difference in the admission serum creatinine among survivors (p<0.05).


In conclusion, the Liver Dialysis Unit treatment appeared to benefit patients with acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure by reverse of the encephalopathy and spontaneous recovery of the damaged liver in selected patients.

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