'Kunstmatige ondersteuning bij leverfalen'; een signalement van de Gezondheidsraad

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Acute liver failure has a high mortality (40-95%) depending on the cause. Emergency liver transplantation is the only way to improve survival: a one-year survival of 5o-6o%. In the past, many different modalities of artificial liver support have been studied. None of them appeared to be able to improve survival compared to maximal intensive care treatment. Two rather recent approaches are the development of a bioartificial liver (BAL), charged with billions of porcine liver cells, and albumin dialysis (MARS). A signalling report has been sent to the Dutch Minister of Health to resume the current position of BAL and MARS in the treatment of severe liver failure. The outcome is that no firm conclusions can yet be drawn as to the applicability of these modalities. Only two small-scale controlled clinical trials have been published on the MARS technique and the only published large-scale controlled clinical trial of a BAL in acute liver failure is not conclusive. On theoretical grounds, BAL treatment has more potential than MARS since a BAL will replace not only the failing hepatic detoxification but also the synthetic and metabolic functions. So far, no evidence has been found for transmission ofporcine pathogens to patients despite numerous phase 1 studies of bioartificial livers charged with porcine hepatocytes. More well-designed controlled clinical trials are needed. Therefore, the Dutch moratorium on xenotransplantation should be revised
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)221-ev
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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