Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Advances in the treatment of acute liver failure

From a review:

Recent findings: As the treatment of ALF has evolved, there is an increasing recognition regarding the risk of intracranial hypertension related to advanced hepatic encephalopathy. Therefore, there is an enhanced emphasis on neuromonitoring and therapies targeting intracranial hypertension. Also, new evidence implicates systemic proinflammatory cytokines as an etiology for the development of multiorgan system dysfunction in ALF; the recent finding of a survival benefit in ALF with high-volume plasmapheresis further supports this theory.

Summary: Advances in the critical care management of ALF have translated to a substantial decrease in mortality related to this disease process. The extrapolation of therapies from general neurocritical care to the treatment of ALF-induced intracranial hypertension has resulted in improved neurologic outcomes. In addition, recognition of the systemic inflammatory response and multiorgan dysfunction in ALF has guided current treatment recommendations, and will provide avenues for future research endeavors. With respect to extracorporeal liver support systems, further randomized studies are required to assess their efficacy in ALF, with attention to nonsurvival end points such as bridging to liver transplantation.

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