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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. 

    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

    The etiology was virus related in 186 (91.1%), drug induced in 15 (7.4%), Wilson's disease in one (0.5%), acute Budd-Chiari syndrome in one (0.5%), and malignant infiltration in one (0.5%).Sixty (32.3%) patients with viral hepatitis survived. Univariate analysis showed that the interval between onset of encephalopathy and onset of jaundice, grade of encephalopathy, raised intracranial pressure, prothrombin time, and serum bilirubin levels on admission correlated with outcome in these patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the presence of raised intracranial pressure at the time of admission, prothrombin time >100 sec on admission, age (>50 yr), and onset of encephalopathy seven days after onset of jaundice were associated with poor prognosis. Forty seven (37.0%) of 129 patients with hyperacute survived compared with 9 (22.5%) of 40 with acute and 4 (21.1%) of 19 with subacute liver failure (P = NS). 

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