Dr James Perkins from Seattle determined short-term outcome for children with acute liver failure.
The researcher assessed how acute liver failure relates to cause, clinical status, and patient demographics and to determine prognostic factors.
The researchers collected demographic, clinical, laboratory, and short-term outcome data from a prospective, multicenter case study.
|Causes of acute liver failure included acute acetaminophen toxicity in 14%|
The data was obtained on 348 children from birth to 18 years.
Patients without encephalopathy were included if the prothrombin time and international normalized ratio remained 20 seconds and/or >2, respectively.
Primary outcome measures 3 weeks after study entry were death, death after transplantation, alive with native liver, and alive with transplanted organ.
The researcher noted that the cause of acute liver failure included acute acetaminophen toxicity in 14%, and metabolic disease in 10%.
The researcher found that the cause of acute liver failure was autoimmune liver disease in 6%, and non-acetaminophen drug-related hepatotoxicity in 5%.
Infections occurred in 6%, and other diagnosed conditions were found in 10%.
The researcher noted that 49% were indeterminate.
Outcome varied between patient sub-groups.
The researcher observed that 20% with non-acetaminophen acute liver failure died or underwent liver transplantation and never had clinical encephalopathy.
Dr Perkins comments, “Causes of acute liver failure in children differ from adults.”
“Clinical encephalopathy may not be present in children.”
“The high percentage of indeterminate cases provides an opportunity for investigation.”