A case of syncytial giant-cell hepatitis treated with an extracorporeal liver assist device

Am J Gastroenterol. 1994 Jul;89(7):1077-82.


Syncytial giant cell hepatitis (SGCH) has recently been reported to be a cause of severe hepatitis, with little chance of patient recovery without orthotopic liver transplantation. We have recently seen a patient with multisystem disease and histologic features of SGCH. Upon reaching stage IV coma, she was treated with an extracorporeal liver assist device containing 200 g of cultured liver cells. There was an immediate improvement in her galactose elimination capacity, and her own liver recovered to the point that therapy could be discontinued after 58 h. The patient recovered slowly from her multisystem disease and was discharged with mildly elevated transaminases and biochemical evidence of cholestasis. All laboratory values are normal at 2 yr, and the patient appears to have no sequelae of her disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Organs*
  • Child
  • Extracorporeal Circulation*
  • Female
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Giant Cells / pathology
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / etiology
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / pathology
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / therapy
  • Hepatitis / complications
  • Hepatitis / metabolism
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Hepatitis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis


  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Galactose