The liver performs a wide variety of vital life functions including metabolic, regulatory, detoxification and synthetic activities. The primary liver cell, the hepatocyte, is believed to be responsible for approximately 500 or more specific biologic processes. In addition, the liver also serves as a reservoir for immune cells which clear the blood of pathogens. As a result, the liver’s failure to perform its normal role can have devastating or fatal consequences. Causes of liver failure are numerous, and the condition is typically described in terms of rapidity of onset. The two main categories are acute liver failure and chronic liver failure. In the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis represented the twelfth leading cause of death in 2015. In China, where viral hepatitis is endemic, liver and liver-related disease including liver cancer and hepatitis B represented the fifth leading cause of death in 2014.