Department of Hepatology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India. Department of Transfusion Medicine, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New. Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine. Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India. Department of Nephrology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India; Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India. Department of Hepatology, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2021
BACKGROUND High volume plasma-exchange (HVPE) improves survival in patients with acute liver failure (ALF), but apprehension regarding volume overload and worsening of cerebral edema remain. METHODS In an open-label randomized controlled trial, 40 consecutive patients of ALF were randomized 1:1 to either standard medical treatment (SMT) or SMT with standard-volume plasma-exchange (SVPE). SVPE was performed using centrifugal apheresis [target volume
of 1.5 to 2.0 plasma volumes per session] until desired response was achieved. Cerebral edema was assessed by brain imaging. Results were analyzed in an intention-to-treat analysis. Primary outcome was 21-day transplant-free survival. The levels of cytokines, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and endotoxins were analyzed at baseline and day 5. RESULTS ALF patients [aged 31.5±12.2 years, 60% male, 78% viral, 83% hyperacute, 70% with SIRS were included. At day 5, SVPE [mean sessions 2.15±1.42, median plasma volume replaced 5.049 L] compared to SMT alone, resulted in higher lactate clearance (p=0.02), amelioration of SIRS (84% vs. 26%; P=0.02), reduction in ammonia levels [(221.5±96.9) vs.(439±385.6) μg/dl, P=0.02) and SOFA scores [9.9(±3.3) vs. 14.6(±4.8); P=0.001]. There were no treatment related deaths. SVPE was associated with a higher 21-day transplant free-survival [75% vs. 45%; P=0.04, HR 0.30, 95%CI 0.01-0.88]. A significant decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines along with a decrease in endotoxin and DAMPs was seen with SVPE. CONCLUSION In ALF patients with cerebral edema, SVPE is safe and effective and improves survival possibly by a reduction in cytokine storm and ammonia. ClinicalTrial.gov (identifier: NCT02718079).