Early cholestatic graft dysfunction is a frequent cause of morbidity after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). We analyze the role of selective bilirubin plasma absorption (PAP) using Plasorba BR-350 in 4 OLT patients who had experienced early severe cholestatic graft dysfunction within 15 days after transplantation. Patients were treated with 3 consecutive cycles of PAP with Plasorba BR-350. The median amount of plasma treated was 7500 mL. Median treatment duration was 231 minutes. The average plasma bilirubin level was 37 +/- 1 mg/dL before PAP and decreased to 15 +/- 0.2 mg/dL at the end of the third cycle of PAP; 3 of 4 cases had progressive bilirubin normalization after PAP. The average amount of bilirubin removed from the plasma of the patients during each PAP treatment was 143 +/- 24 mg. At the beginning of each cycle of PAP, the Plasorba BR-350 was able to remove >90% of the total plasma bilirubin, a percentage that decreased to 60%, 50%, and 40% after 2 L, 4 L, and 7 L of plasma were treated, respectively. Liver biopsies performed after the third treatment showed reduced cholestasis when compared with the pretreatment biopsy specimen. The preliminary data suggested that PAP selective for bilirubin removal may not only reduce the bilirubin level, but may also improve the histological pattern of the graft in terms of reduced cholestatic signs.