What causes morbidity and mortality from acute liver failure?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Gagan K Sood, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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The development of cerebral edema is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with acute liver failure. [10, 14, 15] The etiology of this intracranial hypertension (ICH) is not fully understood, but it is considered to be multifactorial.

Briefly, hyperammonemia may be involved in the development of cerebral edema. Brain edema is thought to be both cytotoxic and vasogenic in origin.

Cytokine profiles are also deranged. Elevated serum concentrations of bacterial endotoxins, tumor necrosis factor–alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)–1, and IL-6 have been found in fulminant hepatic failure.

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