Liver Failure Treatment Through Cell Transplant

Hepatocyte Transplantation for Acute Decompensated Liver Failure

Protocol Description

This study, originating at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, is being done to determine whether transplantation of liver cells, called hepatocytes, can help patients with acute liver failure (ALF), who are unlikely to survive without some form of liver support. The goal is to determine if cell transplants can be effective until a liver transplant is received or until patients recover from their liver failure. Despite encouraging survival statistics for whole liver transplants, significant morbidity and mortality are associated with them. Among other potential benefits, hepatocyte transplantation should be less stressful to the patient than whole liver transplantation and could, theoretically, provide restorative potential for the liver.

Eligibility Criteria

Subject to certain exclusion criteria, this study is accepting ALF patients for whom conventional whole liver transplantation is not immediately available.
Males: Up to 21 years
Females: Up to 21 years


Hepatocytes from human donors will be matched with the patient’s blood type and injected into the liver through the portal vein. Blood tests will be done before, during and after transplantation of the liver cells. Follow-up care will include regular check-ups, use of immune system suppressants to prevent organ rejection, and use of antibiotics to prevent infections.
Visits: Requires hospitalization for transplant
Duration: Follow-up is ongoing

Status: Open to Enrollment

Source(s) of Support

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Primary Investigator

Ira J. Fox, MD

Contact Information

For information, please contact:
Rachel Novosel Sada, MS, CIP