Fulminant hepatic failure: etiology and indications for liver transplantation

Daniel Gotthardt, Carina Riediger, Karl Heinz Weiss, Jens Encke, Peter Schemmer, Jan Schmidt, Peter Sauer
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2007, 22 Suppl 8: viii5-viii8
Fulminant hepatic failure is characterized by the development of severe liver injury with impaired synthetic capacity and encephalopathy in patients with previous normal liver or at least well compensated liver disease. The etiology of fulminant hepatic failure refers to a wide variety of causes, of which toxin-induced or viral hepatitis are most common. In spite of specific therapeutic options in distinctive etiologies, orthotopic liver transplantation is the only therapy proven to improve patient survival in the majority of patients. The outcome is determined by the complications like severe coagulopathy, infections, renal impairment or increased intracranial pressure. The decision for transplantation depends on the possibility of spontaneous hepatic recovery, which may be estimated by several factors. The most important variables for predicting the need of transplantation in fulminant hepatic failure are the degree of encephalopathy, patients age and the underlying cause of liver failure.

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Jose Antonio Flores Rivas

Full review of this not so rare entity to serve those related to organ transplant and the management


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