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      The Influence of Hypoalbuminemia on Maximal Flow Rates and Transmembrane Pressure during Plasmapheresis – An in vitro Study

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          Background: Plasmapheresis has been used for the treatment of acute liver failure (ALF). In these patients, hypoalbuminemia is often observed. Since albumin improves the disaggregability of erythrocytes, hypoalbuminemia might deteriorate rheology and thus influence the overall performance of plasmapheresis. Methods: Hypoalbuminemia was mimicked by using porcine blood because of its physiologically low albumin/globulin ratio (AGR). Filters (n = 16) were integrated in a closed extracorporeal in vitro system. In the control group (n = 8), native porcine blood (AGR 0.8) was used. In the study group (n = 8), we used porcine blood supplemented with human albumin to obtain the human AGR value of 1.2. Two different heparinization protocols were compared in each group (2.5 IU/ml: n = 4 with albumin and n = 4 without albumin versus 5 IU/ml: n = 4 with and n = 4 without albumin). Results: In both heparinization protocols the higher AGR led to lower transmembrane pressure (TMP) levels compared to the lower AGR. The reduced TMPs enabled higher blood flow and filtration rates. Conclusion: Maintenance of a physiological AGR in ALF patients might improve the performance of plasmapheresis and – as opposed to raised heparinization – contribute to a safer application.

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          Effect of Plasma Exchange on Serum Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 1 and Cytokine Concentrations in Patients with Fulminant Hepatitis

          Aims: The present study assessed whether the serum concentrations of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) and cytokines are altered in patients with fulminant hepatitis and whether plasma exchange affects these concentrations. Methods: Fifteen patients with fulminant hepatitis, 14 patients with severe acute hepatitis, and 20 healthy controls were included in this study. The serum levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), and TIMP-1 were determined in all patients upon hospital admission and before and after a single course of plasma exchange in the patients with fulminant hepatitis. Results: Ten out of the 15 patients with fulminant hepatitis and all patients with severe acute hepatitis survived. Serum TNF-α, IL-6, TGF-β, and TIMP-1 levels in patients with fulminant hepatitis were significantly higher than the levels in patients with severe acute hepatitis (p < 0.01). IL-1β was not detectable in either group. Plasma exchange reduced the increased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, TGF-β, and TIMP-1 in patients with fulminant hepatitis (p < 0.01). Conclusions: These data suggest that increased serum levels of TIMP-1 and cytokines may reflect severe hepatic inflammation and that plasma exchange is an effective therapy to reduce these levels.
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            Hyperbaric oxygenation, plasma exchange, and hemodialysis for treatment of acute liver failure in a 3-year-old child.

            A girl aged 3 years and 4 months weighing 16 kg was treated with plasma exchange (PE), hemodialysis (HD), and hyperbaric oxygenation (HBO) for acute hepatic failure and coma. She was given a total of 13 PEs, 13 HD sessions, and 9 HBO treatments over a period of 1 month. The initial 4 PEs were followed by HD sessions while the other 8 PE treatments were given simultaneously with HD. There was no renal failure; HD was instituted to improve ammonia elimination. In 1 HD session, 20% human albumin (370 ml) was used as the dialysate to enhance bilirubin elimination. Three volumes of plasma (2,000 ml) per PE were exchanged and replaced with fresh frozen plasma (FFP). The Bellco BL 791 plasmapheresis monitor and Gambro PF1000 and PF2000 plasma filters were used. Heparin was added to prevent clotting. A dual lumen pediatric HD catheter (7 Fr) placed percutaneously into the femoral vein was used as a blood access. The Fresenius 2008 C HD monitor and the Filtral 10 dialyzer were used for HD. PE and HD were instituted simultaneously to prevent the tetanic (hypocalcemic) cramps observed with 2 previous PEs due to citrate in the FFP. The extracorporeal circuit was primed with a mixture of concentrated red cells, human albumin, and saline solution and was discarded at the end of the procedure. The average blood flow rate in PE and/or HD circuits was 80 ml/min. During HBO, the girl breathed 100% oxygen at 2.5 atm for 90 min. Throughout the treatment, the patient was in good clinical, physical, and mental condition, but she was dependent on blood purification procedures. She was referred to a liver transplant center and successfully transplanted. The etiology of liver failure has not been clarified.
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              Long-Term Extracorporeal Bilirubin Elimination: A Case Report on Cascade Resin Plasmaperfusion

              Acute hepatic failure develops as a disease entity of rather diverse origin. With disease progression, toxic bilirubin levels may cause severe complications which include AV-nodal blockage, cardiac arrhythmia, impaired consciousness, generalized seizures, and status epilepticus. Treatment choices to prevent clinical deterioration comprise of costly and limited available orthotopic liver transplantation, utilization of extracorporeal bioartificial liver support devices and haemoperfusion/plasmaperfusion treatment with activated charcoal/anion exchange filters. Here, we present a patient with acute drug-induced cholestatic hepatitis. Excessively elevated bilirubin levels were accompanied by cardiac and cerebral complications. Extracorporeal resin perfusion treatment (Plasorba, BR–350) was successfully performed over a 50-day period without activation of the coagulation system or side effects. Bilirubin levels were lowered to a minimum of 225 μmol/l, with concurrent clinical improvement. In conclusion, extracorporeal anion exchange plasmaperfusion may be a viable long-term treatment for hyperbilirubinaemic side effects in overt cholestatic hepatitis.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                20 September 2001
                : 19
                : 4
                : 408-416
                Departments of aAnaesthesiology and bPathology, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany
                46972 Blood Purif 2001;19:408–416
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 38, Pages: 9
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