Why is identifying the cause critical in the assessment of acute liver failure (ALF)?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Gagan K Sood, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

The most important step in the assessment of patients with acute liver failure is to identify the cause, because certain conditions necessitate immediate and specific treatment and affect prognosis. All patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of moderate or severe acute hepatitis should have immediate measurement of prothrombin time (PT) and careful evaluation of the mental status. The presence of PT prolongation or mental status changes is grounds for hospital admission.


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