October 1, 2011

Characterization and Outcomes of Young Infants with Acute Liver Failure


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Acute liver failure (ALF) in infants and children is a devastating condition.  This study aimed to characterize infants aged <=90 days enrolled in an international, multicenter, prospective registry of children aged <18 years with acute liver failure before May 18, 2009.  A total of 148 infants were identified, with median age of 18 days.  Common etiologies for ALF included indeterminate (38%), neonatal hemochromatosis (13.6%), and herpes simplex virus (12.8%).  Spontaneous survival occurred in 60% of the infants, 16% underwent liver transplantation, and 24% died without undergoing liver transplantation.  ALF in young infants presents unique diagnostic considerations, and spontaneous survival is better than previously thought.  Liver transplantation, albeit risky, provides an additional option for care.

Liver Transplantation

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