ABSTRACT: Acute liver failure (ALF) is classically defined by coagulopathy and hepatic encephalopathy (HE); however, acute liver injury (ALI), i.e., severe acute hepatocyte necrosis without HE, has not been carefully defined nor studied. Our aim is to describe the clinical course of specifically defined ALI, including the risk and clinical predictors of poor outcomes, namely progression to ALF, the need for liver transplantation (LT) and death.386 subjects prospectively enrolled in the Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry between 1 September 2008 through 25 October 2013, met criteria for ALI: International Normalized Ratio (INR)?2.0 and alanine aminotransferase (ALT)?10 × elevated (irrespective of bilirubin level) for acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, APAP) ALI, or INR?2.0, ALT?10x elevated, and bilirubin?3.0?mg/dl for non-APAP ALI, both groups without any discernible HE. Subjects who progressed to poor outcomes (ALF, death, LT) were compared, by univariate analysis, with those who recovered. A model to predict poor outcome was developed using the random forest (RF) procedure.Progression to a poor outcome occurred in 90/386 (23%), primarily in non-APAP (71/179, 40%) vs. only 14/194 (7.2%) in APAP patients comprising 52% of all cases (13 cases did not have an etiology assigned; 5 of whom had a poor outcome). Of 82 variables entered into the RF procedure: etiology, bilirubin, INR, APAP level and duration of jaundice were the most predictive of progression to ALF, LT, or death.A majority of ALI cases are due to APAP, 93% of whom will improve rapidly and fully recover, while non-APAP patients have a far greater risk of poor outcome and should be targeted for early referral to a liver transplant center.
Project description:Analyses of outcomes after acute liver failure (ALF) have typically included all ALF patients regardless of whether they were listed for liver transplantation (LT). We hypothesized that limiting analysis to listed patients might provide novel insights into factors associated with outcome, focusing attention on disease evolution after listing. Listed adult ALF patients enrolled in the US Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry between 2000 and 2013 were analyzed to determine baseline factors associated with 21-day outcomes after listing. We classified 617 patients (36% of overall ALF group) by 3-week outcome after study admission: 117 were spontaneous survivors (SSs; survival without LT), 108 died without LT, and 392 underwent LT. Only 22% of N-acetyl-p-aminophenol (APAP) ALF patients were listed; however, this group of 173 patients demonstrated greater illness severity: higher coma grades and more patients requiring ventilator, vasopressor, or renal replacement therapy support. Only 62/173 (36%) of APAP patients received a graft versus 66% for drug-induced liver injury patients, 86% for autoimmune-related ALF, and 71% for hepatitis B-related ALF. APAP patients were more likely to die than non-APAP patients (24% versus 17%), and the median time to death was sooner (2 versus 4.5 days). Despite greater severity of illness, the listed APAP group still had a SS rate of 40% versus 11% for non-APAP causes (P?<?0.001). APAP outcomes evolve rapidly, mainly to SS or death. Patients with APAP ALF listed for LT had the highest death rate of any etiology, whereas more slowly evolving etiologies yielded higher LT rates and, consequently, fewer deaths. Decisions to list and transplant must be made early in all ALF patients, particularly in those with APAP ALF.
Project description:Patients with acute liver failure (ALF) have high mortality and frequently require liver transplantation (LT); few reliable prognostic markers are available. Levels of M30, a cleavage product of cytokeratin-18 caspase, are significantly increased in serum samples from patients with ALF who die or undergo LT. We developed a prognostic index for ALF based on level of M30 and commonly measured clinical variables (called the Acute Liver Failure Study Group [ALFSG] index) and compared its accuracy with that of the King's College criteria (KCC) and Model for End Stage Liver Disease (MELD). We also validated our model in an independent group of patients with ALF.Serum levels of M30 and M65 antigen (the total cytokeratin-18 fragment, a marker of apoptosis and necrosis) were measured on 3 of the first 4 days following admission of 250 patients with ALF. Logistic regression was used to determine whether the following factors, measured on day 1, were associated with LT or death: age, etiology; coma grade; international normalized ratio (INR); serum pH; body mass index; levels of creatinine, bilirubin, phosphorus, arterial ammonia, and lactate; and log(10) M30 and log(10) M65. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) was calculated for the ALFSG and other indices.Coma grade, INR, levels of bilirubin and phosphorus, and log(10) M30 value at study entry most accurately identified patients who would require LT or die. The ALFSG index identified these patients with 85.6% sensitivity and 64.7% specificity. Based on comparison of AUROC values, the ALFSG Index (AUROC, 0.822) better identified patients most likely to require LT or die than the KCC (AUROC, 0.654) or MELD (AUROC, 0.704) (P = .0002 and P = .0010, respectively). We validated these findings in a separate group of 250 patients with ALF.The ALFSG index, a combination of clinical markers and measurements of the apoptosis biomarker M30, better predicts outcomes of patients with ALF than the KCC or MELD.
Project description:Functional outcomes for long-term survivors of acute liver failure (ALF) are not well characterized. The aim of this prospective study was to determine health-related quality of life in long-term adult ALF survivors. Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry participants completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health-Related Quality of Life 14 and Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires at 1- and/or 2-year follow-up study visits. Responses were compared among ALF subgroups and to those for available general US population controls. Among the 282 adult ALF patients, 125 had undergone liver transplantation (LT), whereas 157, including 95 acetaminophen overdose (APAP) patients and 62 non-APAP patients, were spontaneous survivors (SSs). APAP SS patients reported significantly lower general health scores and more days of impaired mental and physical health, activity limitations due to poor health, pain, depression, and anxiety in comparison with the other groups (P???0.001). There were no significant differences in coma grade or in the use of mechanical ventilation or intracranial pressure monitoring among the patient groups during their ALF hospitalization, but APAP SSs had significantly higher rates of psychiatric disease and substance abuse (P?<?0.001). In comparison with the general US population, a greater proportion of the combined SS patients reported fair or poor health and ?14 days of impaired physical/mental health and activity limitations due to poor health. In addition, a greater proportion of LT recipients reported ?14 days of impaired physical/mental health. Similar results were observed with the SF-36 across the 3 ALF subgroups and in comparison with population controls. In conclusion, long-term adult survivors of ALF reported significantly lower quality of life scores than US population controls. Furthermore, APAP SS patients reported the lowest quality of life scores, possibly because of higher rates of premorbid psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.
Project description:The long-term clinical outcomes in initial survivors with acute liver failure (ALF) are not well known. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the 2-year clinical outcomes among initial survivors and liver transplant (LT) recipients that were alive 3 weeks after enrolment in the Acute Liver Failure Study Group (ALFSG).Outcomes in adult ALFSG patients that were enrolled between 1998 and 2010 were reviewed.Two-year patient survival was significantly higher in the 262 LT recipients (92.4%) compared to the 306 acetaminophen (APAP) spontaneous survivors (SS) (89.5%) and 200 non-APAP SS (75.5%) (P < 0.0001). The causes of death were similar in the three groups but the time to death was significantly longer in the LT recipients (P < 0.0001). Independent predictors of 2-year mortality in the APAP group were a high serum phosphate level and patient age (c-statistic = 0.65 (0.54, 0.76)), patient age and days from jaundice to ALF onset in the non-APAP group (c-statistic = 0.69 (0.60, 0.78)), and patient age, days from jaundice, and higher coma grade in the LT recipients (c-statistic = 0.74 (0.61, 0.87)). The LT recipients were significantly more likely to be employed and have a higher educational level (P < 0.05).Two-year outcomes in initial survivors of ALF are generally good but non-APAP patients have a significantly lower survival which may relate to pre-existing medical comorbidities. Spontaneous survivors with APAP overdose experience substantial morbidity during follow-up from ongoing psychiatric and substance abuse issues.
Project description:Microparticles (MPs), membrane fragments of 0.1-1.0 μm, are derived from many cell types in response to systemic inflammation. Acute liver failure (ALF) is a prototypical syndrome of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) associated with a procoagulant state. We hypothesized that patients with ALF develop increased procoagulant MPs in proportion to the severity of systemic complications and adverse outcome. Fifty patients with acute liver injury (ALI), 78% of whom also had hepatic encephalopathy (HE; ALF), were followed until day 21 after admission. MPs were characterized by Invitrox Sizing, Antigen Detection and Enumeration, a light-scattering technology that can enumerate MPs as small as 0.15 μm, and by flow cytometry. Procoagulant activity was assessed by a functional MP-tissue factor (MP-TF) assay. Sixteen patients (32%) died and 27 (54%) recovered without liver transplantation (LT). Total MPs (0.15-1.0 μm) were present in nearly 19-fold higher concentrations in ALI/ALF patients, compared to healthy controls (P < 0.0001). MP-TF assays revealed high procoagulant activity (9.05 ± 8.82 versus 0.24 ± 0.14 pg/mL in controls; P = 0.0008). MP concentrations (0.28-0.64 μm) were higher in patients with the SIRS and high-grade HE, and MPs in the 0.36-0.64-μm size range increased in direct proportion to SIRS severity (P < 0.001) and grade of HE (P < 0.002). Day 1 MPs (0.28-0.64 μm) correlated with laboratory predictors of death/LT (higher phosphate and creatinine; lower bicarbonate), and day 1 and 3 MPs were higher in patients who died or underwent LT, compared to spontaneous survivors (P ≤ 0.01). By flow cytometry, 87% of patients had circulating CD41(+) MPs, indicating platelet origin.Highly procoagulant MPs of specific size ranges are associated with the SIRS, systemic complications, and adverse outcome of ALI/ALF. MPs may contribute to the multiorgan system failure and high mortality of ALF.
Project description:A 72-year-old Japanese man was referred to our hospital with yellow discoloration of the sclera and liver dysfunction. He was diagnosed with acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on the basis of HCV-RNA positivity and anti-HCV seroconversion. A transjugular liver biopsy confirmed submassive hepatic necrosis. Five days after admission, no flapping tremor was observed, and the prothrombin time-international normalized ratio (PT-INR) and total bilirubin level showed increases of 1.70 and 17.8 mg/dL, respectively. The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score was determined to be 25, and the risk of acute liver failure (ALF) was estimated to be 48% according to the Japan Hepatic Encephalopathy Prediction Model. Considering that rapid HCV clearance and temporary suppression of the immune response would prevent ALF, we prescribed oral ledipasvir (LDV) 90 mg and sofosbuvir (SOF) 400 mg for 12 weeks and intravenously injected methylprednisolone 1 g for 3 days. His PT-INR promptly improved, although the total bilirubin level increased to 30.3 mg/dL. Plasma bilirubin absorption was performed three times, and the total bilirubin level gradually decreased. HCV-RNA was still detectable at six weeks after the start of LDV/SOF therapy and finally undetectable at eight weeks. There were no adverse events associated with LDV/SOF. The patient was discharged 73 days after admission. A sustained virological response was achieved at 12 and 24 weeks after treatment. The findings from this case suggest that LDV/SOF therapy can be a promising option for acute HCV monoinfection associated with a high risk of ALF.
Project description:<h4>Background/aim</h4>Acetaminophen (APAP) hepatotoxicity is related to the formation of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), which is detoxified through conjugation with reduced glutathione (GSH). Ophthalmic acid (OA) is an analogue of GSH in which cysteine is replaced with 2-aminobutyrate. Metabolomics studies of mice with APAP-induced acute liver failure (APAP-ALF) identified OA as a marker of oxidative stress and hepatic GSH consumption. The aim of the current study was to determine whether OA is detectable in APAP-ALF human patients either early (day 2) or late (day 4) and whether OA levels were associated with in-hospital survival in the absence of liver transplant.<h4>Methods</h4>Serum samples from 130 APAP-ALF patients (82 survivors, 48 non-survivors) were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and correlated with clinical data from the United States Acute Liver Failure Study Group (US ALFSG) Registry (2004-2011).<h4>Results</h4>Survivors had significantly lower admission bilirubin (4.2 vs. 5.7 mg/dl) and lactate levels (3.3 vs. 6.5 ?mol/l, p<0.05 for all). During the first 7 days of the study, survivors were less likely to require mechanical ventilation (55% vs. 88%), vasopressor support (9.8% vs. 67%) or renal replacement therapy (26% vs. 63%, p< 0.001 for all). Non-survivors were more likely to have detectable OA levels early (31% vs. 15%, p = 0.034) and late (27% vs. 11%, p = 0.02). However there were no significant differences in mean OA levels between non-survivors and survivors (early 0.48 vs. 0.36, late 0.43 vs. 0.37, P > 0.5 for all).<h4>Conclusion</h4>OA was detectable more frequently in APAP-ALF non-survivors but mean OA levels were not associated with survival. The routine clinical administration of N-acetyl cysteine could replenish GSH levels and prevent OA production.
Project description:PURPOSE:Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare clinical syndrome associated with a high case fatality rate. Asymptomatic primary infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is common in the general population while acute hepatitis and jaundice are much less common and ALF has been rarely reported. We reviewed the presenting features as well as clinical outcomes amongst consecutive adults with EBV-related ALF. METHODS:Amongst the 1,887 adult ALF patients enrolled into the US ALF Study Group from January 1998 to February 2012, there were four patients (0.21 %) with EBV-related ALF. Diagnostic criteria for acute EBV infection included compatible serologies and/or the detection of EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) in liver tissue. RESULTS:Median patient age was 30 years (range 18-44); 75 % were male, and only 25 % were immunosuppressed. The median presenting ALT was 504 IU/mL (range 156-4,920), median Alk P was 431 (range 136-1,009), and median bilirubin was 17 mg/dL (range 13-22.1). Liver biopsy findings ranged from cholestasis to submassive necrosis with EBER + staining in two of the three samples tested. Although all of the patients were treated with an antiviral agent, two died of ALF, one underwent liver transplantation (LT) and one survived with supportive care and is well at 5 years. A review of the literature identified four additional LT recipients with favorable long-term outcomes. CONCLUSION:Primary EBV infection accounts for <1 % of consecutive adult ALF cases but is associated with a high case fatality rate. LT is associated with favorable short- and long-term outcomes.
Project description:Assessing prognosis for acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure (APAP-ALF) patients often presents significant challenges. King's College (KCC) has been validated on hospital admission, but little has been published on later phases of illness. We aimed to improve determinations of prognosis both at the time of and following admission for APAP-ALF using Classification and Regression Tree (CART) models.CART models were applied to US ALFSG registry data to predict 21-day death or liver transplant early (on admission) and post-admission (days 3-7) for 803 APAP-ALF patients enrolled 01/1998-09/2013. Accuracy in prediction of outcome (AC), sensitivity (SN), specificity (SP), and area under receiver-operating curve (AUROC) were compared between 3 models: KCC (INR, creatinine, coma grade, pH), CART analysis using only KCC variables (KCC-CART) and a CART model using new variables (NEW-CART).Traditional KCC yielded 69% AC, 90% SP, 27% SN, and 0.58 AUROC on admission, with similar performance post-admission. KCC-CART at admission offered predictive 66% AC, 65% SP, 67% SN, and 0.74 AUROC. Post-admission, KCC-CART had predictive 82% AC, 86% SP, 46% SN and 0.81 AUROC. NEW-CART models using MELD (Model for end stage liver disease), lactate and mechanical ventilation on admission yielded predictive 72% AC, 71% SP, 77% SN and AUROC 0.79. For later stages, NEW-CART (MELD, lactate, coma grade) offered predictive AC 86%, SP 91%, SN 46%, AUROC 0.73.CARTs offer simple prognostic models for APAP-ALF patients, which have higher AUROC and SN than KCC, with similar AC and negligibly worse SP. Admission and post-admission predictions were developed.• Prognostication in acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure (APAP-ALF) is challenging beyond admission • Little has been published regarding the use of King's College Criteria (KCC) beyond admission and KCC has shown limited sensitivity in subsequent studies • Classification and Regression Tree (CART) methodology allows the development of predictive models using binary splits and offers an intuitive method for predicting outcome, using processes familiar to clinicians • Data from the ALFSG registry suggested that CART prognosis models for the APAP population offer improved sensitivity and model performance over traditional regression-based KCC, while maintaining similar accuracy and negligibly worse specificity • KCC-CART models offered modest improvement over traditional KCC, with NEW-CART models performing better than KCC-CART particularly at late time points.
Project description:N-acetylcysteine (NAC) improves transplant-free survival in early coma grade (I-II) patients with non-acetaminophen induced acute liver failure (ALF). We determined whether the clinical benefit was associated with improvements in hepatic function.In a prospective, double blind trial, 173 ALF patients without evidence of acetaminophen overdose were stratified by coma grade (I-II vs. III-IV) and randomly assigned to receive either intravenous NAC or dextrose (placebo) for 72 h, resulting in four patient groups. INR, ALT, bilirubin, creatinine, and AST obtained on admission (day 1) and subsequent days (days 2-4) were used for secondary analysis performed by fitting longitudinal logistic regression models to predict death or transplantation or transplantation alone.Treatment group and day of study in models including bilirubin or ALT were predictors of transplantation or death (maximum p < 0.03). Those patients with early coma grade who were treated with NAC showed significant improvement in bilirubin and ALT levels when compared to the other three groups (maximum p < 0.02 for NAC 1-2 vs. the 3 other treatments) when predicting death or transplantation. Treatment group, day of study, and bilirubin were predictors of transplantation (maximum p < 0.03) in ALF patients.The decreased risk of transplantation or death or of transplantation alone with intravenous NAC in early coma grade patients with non-acetaminophen induced ALF was reflected in improvement in parameters related to hepatocyte necrosis and bile excretion including ALT and bilirubin, but not in INR, creatinine, or AST. Hepatic recovery appears hastened by NAC as measured by several important lab values.