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Molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment for acute liver failure

May 12, 2010
World Journal of Gastroenterology
The molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) is used in the treatment of liver failure patients to enable either native liver recovery or as a bridging treatment to liver transplantation. A recent study from Finland suggests that MARS treatment is both less costly and more effective than standard medical therapy in acute liver failure patients.

Numerous studies have documented the favorable effects of MARS albumin dialysis treatment on clinical and laboratory parameters and survival in liver failure patients. However, to ensure that limited resources are utilized in an ethical manner, the subjective feelings of the patient in terms of health-related quality of life and costs should also be taken into account.

So far, only a few small non-randomized studies have focused on the cost-utility and the health-related quality of life of MARS-treated acute-on-chronic liver failure patients. Currently, there are no studies on the health-related quality or cost-utility of MARS treatment in acute liver failure (ALF).

The Helsinki MARS-study group, led by liver and transplant surgeon Helena Isoniemi, investigated the cost-utility and health-related quality of life in 90 MARS-treated ALF patients. Comparisons were made with a similar historical control group treated in the same intensive care unit. The 3-year outcomes and number of liver transplantations were recorded and all direct liver disease-related health care costs accrued during 3.5 years were determined. The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) before and after MARS was measured by using the 15D instrument. The HRQoL, cost, and survival data were combined and the incremental cost/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) ratio was calculated.

This study is the first report evaluating the cost-utility of MARS treatment in ALF patients which will be published on May 14, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

This work was performed in the Surgical Hospital of Helsinki at the Helsinki University Central Hospital in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Transplantation and Liver Surgery Clinic, Finnish Office for Health Technology Assessment at the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Group Administration of the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital Group, and Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki.

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Materials provided by World Journal of Gastroenterology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Kantola T, Mäklin S, Koivusalo AM, Räsänen P, Rissanen A, Roine R, Sintonen H, Höckerstedt K, Isoniemi H. Cost-utility of molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment in acute liver failure. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2010; 16 (18): 2227 DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i18.2227

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World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment for acute liver failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2010. <>.
World Journal of Gastroenterology. (2010, May 12). Molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment for acute liver failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 4, 2023 from
World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Molecular adsorbent recirculating system treatment for acute liver failure." ScienceDaily. (accessed December 4, 2023).

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