Medical research

Researchers discover key player in hepatitis A virus infection

How hepatitis A virus (HAV) manages to enter liver cells called hepatocytes and initiate infection had remained a mystery for fifty years until now. University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers designed experiments ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New guidelines for hepatic failure in the intensive care unit

For critical care specialists, hepatic failure poses complex challenges unlike those of other critical illnesses. A new set of evidence-based recommendations for management of liver failure is presented in the March issue ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure

Acetaminophen—a commonly used pain reliever and fever reducer—is the leading cause of quickly developing, or acute, liver failure in the U.S. Findings from a new mouse study suggest that treatments that increase levels ...

Surgery

How a common drug causes liver failure

Acetaminophen is a common pain reliever found in every pharmacy. However, it is also the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure in the United States. In the liver, acetaminophen is converted into a new compound that covalently ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The ABCDEs of viral hepatitis

Millions of people across the globe, including in our own backyard, are living with a viral hepatitis infection and may not even know it. Experts at Baylor College of Medicine say awareness and diagnosis is the first step ...

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Acute liver failure is the appearance of severe complications rapidly after the first signs of liver disease (such as jaundice), and indicates that the liver has sustained severe damage (loss of function of 80-90% of liver cells). The complications are hepatic encephalopathy and impaired protein synthesis (as measured by the levels of serum albumin and the prothrombin time in the blood). The 1993 classification defines hyperacute as within 1 week, acute as 8–28 days and subacute as 4–12 weeks. It reflects the fact that the pace of disease evolution strongly influences prognosis. Underlying etiology is the other significant determinant of outcome.

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