2020 Oct 12. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan–.
Acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a clinical syndrome of sudden hepatic decompensation observed in patients with pre-existing chronic liver disease and associated with one or more extrahepatic organ failures and increased mortality.
Regardless of the etiology of chronic liver injury, when a clinician follows the natural history of liver injury, the initial uncomplicated chronic liver disease leads to cirrhosis and, later, the decompensation of liver function with ascites, jaundice, portal hypertension with variceal bleeding, and hepatic encephalopathy. Type-A ACLF is an acute worsening of liver function in a patient with chronic liver disease. Type-B ACLF is when this acute decompensation occurs in patients with cirrhosis, while type-C ACLF is acute worsening of liver function in decompensated cirrhotics.