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Artificial liver support devices

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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An artificial device able to support liver function might serve as a temporary measure before liver transplantation until a suitable organ becomes available, or until the native liver has regenerated sufficiently such that transplantation may be avoided

  • enormous attempts at providing temporary liver support have been made, with an aim to increase survival rate or improve the condition of the patient until a donor is available. In the past decades, a variety of artificial liver support system (ALSS), including plasma exchange (PE), hemoperfusion, PE plus continuous hemodiafiltration, MARS and fractionated plasma separation, adsorption and dialysis system, have been employed in the management of liver failure
  • study evidence has demonstrated that ALSS can efficiently decrease the mortality of patients with severe hepatitis of early and middle stages


  • an extracorporeal liver assist device (ELAD) has been developed, containing cultured human hepatoblastoma cells, grown in the extracapillary space of a hollow fibre dialyser.


  • Santoro A, Mancini E, Buttiglieri S, Krause A, Yakubovich M, et al. Extracorporeal support of liver function (II Part). Int J Artif Organs 2004;27: 176-185
  • Li LJ, Zhang YM, Liu XL, Du WB, Huang JR, et al. Artificial liver support system in China: a review over the last 30 years. Ther Apher Dial 2006;10: 160-167
  • McNair ANB, Tibbs CJ, Williams R. Recent Advances Hepatology. BMJ 1995;311:1351-5.

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