How do patients with acute liver failure (ALF) receive nutrients?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Gagan K Sood, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Patients with acute liver failure are, by necessity, on nothing by mouth (NPO) status. They may require large amounts of intravenous (IV) glucose to avoid hypoglycemia.

When enteral feeding via a feeding tube is not feasible (eg, as in a patient with paralytic ileus), institute total parenteral nutrition (TPN). (See also Nutritional Requirements of Adults Before Transplantation and Nutritional Requirements of Children Prior to Transplantation.) Restricting protein (amino acids) to 0.6 g/kg body weight per day was previously routine in the setting of hepatic encephalopathy. However, this may not be necessary.

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