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ABSTRACT: In this study, we tested a new artificial liver device using liver pieces in 8-h hemoperfusion of comatous porcine blood and compared two alternative tissue preparations. Acute hepatic coma in the pigs was induced by complete devascularization of the liver. The animals were killed in stage IV coma (15–25 h after the operation), and 1 1 blood was perfused over 200 g fresh or DMSO-preserved liver cubes. After the devascularization GOT, GPT, GLDH, AP, LDH, SDH, bilirubin, free fatty acid, and bile acid levels in serum increased progressively. Ammonia concentrations underwent a rapid increase in the first 9 h of coma development from 126.0 ± 9.9 to 321.9 ± 62.2 µmol/l. Most of the amino acids in serum were elevated and molar ratio of BCAA/AAA declined from 3.87 ± 0.79 to 0.92 ± 0.24. In the course of hemoperfusion ammonia was removed from the perfusate to 71% of the initial values using fresh and to 39% using preserved tissue. Correspondingly, there was an increase in urea concentrations. Amino acid metabolism was ameliorated during the perfusion; Fischer's quotient increased from 0.91 ± 0.15 to 1.38 ± 0.14 (fresh liver) and from 0.89 ± 0.14 to 2.11 ± 0.44 (preserved liver); neuroexcitatory amino acids Asp and Glu were markedly elevated. Energy charge of the liver cells increased and reached levels exceeding 0.5 in both experimental groups, a balanced energy metabolism was maintained and suggests active metabolization by the liver pieces. In comparison with fresh tissue, preserved liver cubes proved effective. We consider our artificial liver device capable of temporary hepatic support in acute necrosis of the liver and suppose that its efficiency can be potentiated by combining this system with other procedures.
University of BonnBonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany