Korean J Gastroenterol.  2001 May;37(5):303-311.

Animal Models of Acute Hepatic Failure


Our understanding and treatment of acute hepatic failure have been limited by the lack of satisfactory animal models. The requirements for a satisfactory animal models are reversibility, reproducibility, death from liver failure, the presence of a therapeutic widow, a large animal model, and minimal hazard to personnel. Different models may be required to evaluate the various types of liver failure observed in man. The animal models are established through the methods such as surgical anhepatic and devascularization procedures, as well as hepatotoxins such as galactosamine, CC14 and acetaminophen, thioacetamide. Surgical models have the best reproducibility among animal models, but show potential disadvantages such as inability to recreate the inflammatory milieu that exists in acute hepatic failure and reliance on surgical expertise. The models using hepatotoxins are free of such constraints, but have difficulties in reproducibility and extrahepatic toxicity except galactosamine. Although a progress in this area has been made, search for the ideal models which accurately reflect the clinical syndrome observed in humans, must continue.


Hepatic failure; Animal models; Anhepatic; Devascularization; Hepatotoxin
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