Historically, mortality rates for liver failure have been high, regardless of the type. With new advancements in liver transplantation (LTx), 1-year survival rates have improved up to 95% in most recent estimates. While some patients may live past the critical period, the majority of patients do not survive the interval period for awaiting LTx or liver regeneration. The function of the liver to detoxify and correct several biochemical parameters has been achieved to some extent through artificial liver support technology, although constant innovations are still being developed for the most optimal liver support device. The complex function of the liver makes it challenging since it does not only detoxify toxic by-products but also participates in numerous other synthetic and metabolic functions of the body. Liver support systems are divided into an artificial liver assist device (ALD) and a bioartificial liver assist device (BLD). ALDs include molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS), Prometheus, single-pass albumin dialysis, and selective plasma filtration therapy. These devices work as a blood purification system of the liver. On the other hand, BLD has hepatic cell lines incorporated in its equipment, which aims to function as a complex biological liver system providing support to its biochemical processes. Several clinical and randomized trials have conflicting results on the survival of the patients with acute liver failure (ALF), and the ideal liver support system still seems a far-off goal.
Part of the book: Liver Pathology