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Schön, M. R.; Heil, W.; Lemmens, H.-P.; Padval, D.; Matthes, M.; Puhl, G.; Neuhaus, P.; Hammer, C. (1999): Xenogeneic, extracorporeal liver perfusion in primates improves the ratio of branched-chain amino acids to aromatic amino acids (Fischer's ratio). In: European Surgical Research, No. 3: pp. 230-239




In fulminant hepatic failure (FHF), the development of hepatic encephalopathy is associated with grossly abnormal concentrations of plasma amino acids (PAA). Normalization of the ratio of branched-chain amino acids to aromatic amino acids (Fischer's ratio) correlates with clinical improvement. This study evaluated changes in PAA metabolism during 4 h of isolated, normothermic extracorporeal liver perfusion using a newly designed system containing human blood and a rhesus monkey liver. Bile and urea production were within the physiological range. Release of the transaminases AST, ALT and LDH were minimal. The ratio of branched (valine, leucine, isoleucine) to aromatic (tyrosine, phenylalanine) amino acids increased significantly. These results indicate that a xenogeneic extracorporeal liver perfusion system is capable of significantly increasing Fischer's ratio and may play a role in treating and bridging patients in FHF in the future.