Acute Liver Failure

Acute Liver Failure

Acute liver failure refers to the rapid onset of liver dysfunction in a patient without chronic liver disease. The most common early features include yellowing of the skin and eyes, mental status changes and bleeding. Acute liver failure may occur from a variety of causes such as acute flares of viral hepatitis, paracetamol or acetaminophen overdose, surgical interventions, idiosyncratic drug reactions and excessive alcohol intake. Despite improvements in intensive care management, mortality continues to be unacceptably high. Most acute liver failure patients, except active drinkers of alcohol, are considered suitable for liver transplant. When acute liver failure occurs in the presence of underlying liver disease, such as with alcohol-induced liver decompensation, the condition is sometimes referred to as acute-on-chronic liver failure. Other forms of acute liver failure include fulminant hepatic failure and surgically-induced liver failure.