Artificial extracorporeal liver support
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Artificial extracorporeal liver support is a term that is used to describe measures that are used to carry out liver function and are outside of the body. The Molecular Adsorbent Recirculation System (MARS) is an example of artificial extracorporeal liver support. MARS banks on the recycling of albumin solution via an anion exchanger and active charcoal. The patient's blood is led through the hollow fibre capillaries of a high-flux dialysis filter. Albumin solution, which is circulated in the extracorporeal circuit, passes the membrane counter directionally, allowing albumin-bound toxins in the blood to cross the membrane and bind to the albumin of the MARS circuit. The membrane is, however, impermeable to albumin. When passing the adsorber and filter cartridges, the toxins are cleared by the filter and albumin is regenerated and able to accept new toxins when passing the membrane again. Additionally, the albumin circuit itself is dialysed in the method of continuous veno-venous haemodialysis (CVVHD) or continuous veno-venous heamodiafiltration (CVVHDF), diminishing the load of water-soluble toxins.
Devices that support liver function outside of the body are: