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Acute Liver Failure

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  • Acute liver failure

     Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare syndrome defined by a rapid decline in hepatic function characterised by jaundice, coagulopathy (INR >1.5), and hepatic encephalopathy in patients with no evidence of prior liver disease.The interval from the onset of jaundice to the development of encephalopathy occurs within 24 to 26 weeks and may further classify ALF into categories based on hyperacute, acute, or subacute presentations.Although clinical jaundice is considered a defining feature of ALF, it may not always be present, particularly in hyperacute presentations. The term acute liver failure is preferred over fulminant hepatic failure or acute hepatic necrosis, although these terms have been used historically to classify hepatic failure.

    Typical symptoms

    Yellowing of your skin and eyeballs (jaundice), Pain in your upper right abdomen, Abdominal swelling, Nausea, Vomiting, A general sense of feeling unwell (malaise), Disorientation or confusion, Sleepiness.

  • Acute liver failure

     Therapeutic aspects

    Treatments for acute liver failure Acute liver failure treatments may include: Medications to reverse poisoning. Acute liver failure caused by acetaminophen overdose or mushroom poisoning is treated with drugs that can reverse the effects of the toxin and may reduce liver damage. Liver transplant. When acute liver failure can't be reversed, the only treatment may be a liver transplant. During a liver transplant, a surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from a donor. Treatments for complications Control signs and symptoms you're experiencing and try to prevent complications caused by acute liver failure. This care may include: Relieving pressure caused by excess fluid in the brain. Cerebral edema caused by acute liver failure can increase pressure on your brain. 

  • Acute liver failure

     Statistics

    A controlled retrospective study was conducted with 90 ALF patients treated with MARS from 2001 to 2005. Comparisons were made with a historical control group of 17 ALF patients treated from 2000 to 2001 in the same intensive care unit (ICU) specializing in liver diseases. The 3-year outcomes and number of liver transplantations were recorded. All direct liver disease-related medical expenses from 6 mo before to 3 years after ICU treatment were determined for 31 MARS patients and 16 control patients. The health-related quality of life (HRQoL) before MARS treatment was estimated by a panel of ICU doctors and after MARS using a mailed 15D (15-dimensional generic health-related quality of life instrument) questionnaire. The HRQoL, cost, and survival data were combined and the incremental cost/quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) was calculated.

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