When is surgical intervention indicated for the treatment 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

Liver transplantation is the definitive treatment for acute liver failure. In selected patients for whom no allograft is immediately available, consider support with a bioartificial liver. This is a short-term measure that only leads to survival if the liver spontaneously recovers or is replaced. [6, 7, 8, 9]

Nonbiologic extracorporeal liver support systems, such as hemodialysis, hemofiltration, charcoal hemoperfusion, plasmapheresis, and exchange transfusions permit temporary liver support until a suitable donor liver is found. However, no controlled study has shown long-term benefit.

See Treatment and Medication for more details.


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