Early Molecular Adsorbents Recirculating System Treatment of Amanita Mushroom Poisoning


  • Presented in part at the 10th International Symposium on Albumin Dialysis in Liver Disease held 12–14 September 2008 in Rostock, Germany.

Dr Taru Kantola, Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Box 263, FIN-00029 Helsinki, Finland. Emails: taru.kantola@hus.fi, taru.teikari@gmail.com


Acute poisoning due to ingestion of hepatotoxic Amanita sp. mushrooms can result in a spectrum of symptoms, from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to life-threatening acute liver failure. With conventional treatment, Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning carries a substantial risk of mortality and many patients require liver transplantation. The molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS) is an artificial liver support system that can partly compensate for the detoxifying function of the liver by removing albumin-bound and water-soluble toxins from blood. This treatment has been used in acute liver failure to enable native liver recovery and as a bridging treatment to liver transplantation. The aim of the study is to evaluate the outcome of 10 patients with Amanita mushroom poisoning who were treated with MARS. The study was a retrospectively analyzed case series. Ten adult patients with accidental Amanita poisoning of varying severity were treated in a liver disease specialized intensive care unit from 2001 to 2007. All patients received MARS treatment and standard medical therapy for mushroom poisoning. The demographic, laboratory, and clinical data from each patient were recorded upon admission. The one-year survival and need for liver transplantation were documented. The median times from mushroom ingestion to first-aid at a local hospital and to MARS treatment were 18 h (range 14–36 h) and 48 h (range 26–78 h), respectively. All 10 patients survived longer than one year. One patient underwent a successful liver transplantation. No serious adverse side-effects were observed with the MARS treatment. In conclusion, MARS treatment seems to offer a safe and effective treatment option in Amanita mushroom poisoning.