MARS: Should I Use It?

Wisit Cheungpasitporn, Charat Thongprayoon, Ziad M. Zoghby, Kianoush Kashani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Severe liver failure, including acute liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver failure, is associated with high mortality, and many patients die despite aggressive medical therapy. While liver transplantation is a viable treatment option for liver failure patients, a large proportion of these patients die given the shortage in the liver donation and the severity of illness, leading to death while waiting for a liver transplant. Extracorporeal liver support devices, including molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS), have been developed as bridge to transplantation (bridge for patients who are decompensating while waiting for liver transplantation) and bridge to recovery (for whom recovery is deemed reasonable). In addition to its uses in acute liver failure and acute-on-chronic liver failure, the MARS system has also been applied in various clinical settings, such as drug overdosing and poisoning and intractable cholestatic pruritus refractory to pharmacological treatment. This review aims to discuss the controversies, potential benefits, practicalities, and disadvantages of using MARS in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Chronic Kidney Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Acute liver failure
  • Albumin dialysis
  • Artificial liver support
  • Liver failure
  • MARS
  • Molecular adsorbent recirculating system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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