Administration of hepatic stimulatory substance alone or with other liver growth factors does not ameliorate acetaminophen-induced liver failure



Sixty-two beagle dogs were given three doses of acetaminophen over a period of 24 hr in a fulminant liver failure model that is 70% lethal in 72 hr. Treatment of the animals with hepatic stimulatory substance alone or in a mixture with insulin, transforming growth factor-α and insulin-like growth factor II had no effect on mortality. Evidence of maximum regeneration with a mitotic index 20 to 25 times resting was the same in treated and untreated animals. Similarly, the biochemical and hematological indexes of liver injury were unaffected by therapy. These studies illustrate the futility of treating fulminant liver failure with exogenous growth factors that apparently are already present in large amounts in the natural response to liver injury. The results suggest that on-going liver injury by mechanisms other than lack of growth factors is the central problem of fulminant liver failure. If so, provision of regeneration-stimulating substance is an inappropriate therapeutic strategy. (HEPATOLOGY 1993;17:429–433.)