Researchers from England and North America determined the short-term outcome for children with acute liver failure.
The team performed a prospective, multicenter case study.
They collected demographic, clinical, laboratory, and short-term outcome data on 348 children with acute liver failure.
The team included patients without encephalopathy if prothrombin time and international normalized ratio remained ≥20 seconds and/or >2, respectively, despite vitamin K.
The primary outcome measures 3 weeks after study entry were death, death after transplantation, alive with native liver, and alive with transplanted organ.
The research team found that the cause of acute liver failure included acute acetaminophen toxicity (14%), metabolic disease (10%), autoimmune liver disease (6%), non-acetaminophen drug-related hepatotoxicity (5%), and infections (6%).
|Outcome varied between patient sub-groups.|
|Journal of Pediatrics|
They determined that outcome varied between patient sub-groups.
They found that 20% of patients with non-acetaminophen-related failure died or underwent liver transplantation and never had clinical encephalopathy.
Dr Robert Squires's team concluded, "Causes of acute liver failure in children differ from in adults".
"Clinical encephalopathy may not be present in children".
"The high percentage of indeterminate cases provides an opportunity for investigation".