Improved liver function following treatment with an extracorporeal liver assist device

Artif Organs. 1993 Jan;17(1):27-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.1993.tb00381.x.


A 68-year-old woman with fulminant hepatic failure of unknown etiology was treated with a bioartificial liver assist device. Prior to treatment, she had a number of clinical and laboratory features that suggested a hopeless outcome. Treatment was associated with a dramatic change in her mental status, and her clinical picture improved progressively during 6 days of continuous therapy. Evidence of recovery of native liver function allowed the discontinuation of treatment, and she continued to improve for a further 3 1/2 days before her demise from septic shock. We propose that a metabolically active liver assist device is a logical and practical method for treating the critical phase of fulminant hepatic failure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Artificial Organs*
  • Female
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / pathology
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver* / pathology