What is the role of bioartificial livers in the treatment of cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Bioartificial livers may see increased application in the care of patients with FHF and, perhaps, cirrhosis. The 2 most studied devices are composed of semipermeable capillary hollow fiber membranes enclosed in a plastic shell. Either human C3A hepatoma cells or pig hepatocytes are attached to the exterior surface of the membranes as blood from the patient is pumped through the device. Intracranial pressure and hepatic encephalopathy improved in some patients with FHF who were assisted with these devices. However, currently available bioartificial livers have not yet fulfilled the goals of biotransforming and removing toxins while supplying the patient with clotting factors and growth factors.


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