What do findings of cerebral edema, ascites, hematemesis, or melena indicate in the evaluation 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 development of cerebral edema may ultimately give rise to manifestations of increased intracranial pressure (ICP), including papilledema, hypertension, and bradycardia.

The rapid development of ascites, especially if observed in a patient with fulminant hepatic failure accompanied by abdominal pain, suggests the possibility of hepatic vein thrombosis (Budd-Chiari syndrome).

Hematemesis or melena as a result of upper gastrointestinal bleeding may complicate fulminant hepatic failure.


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