Intensive care management of acute-on-chronic liver failure

Link to article at PubMed

Intensive Care Med. 2023 Aug;49(8):903-921. doi: 10.1007/s00134-023-07149-x. Epub 2023 Aug 8.


Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a clinical syndrome defined by an acute deterioration of the liver function associated with extrahepatic organ failures requiring intensive care support and associated with a high short-term mortality. ACLF has emerged as a major cause of mortality in patients with cirrhosis and chronic liver disease. ACLF has a unique pathophysiology in which systemic inflammation plays a key role; this provides the basis of novel therapies, several of which are now in clinical trials. Intensive care unit (ICU) therapy parallels that applied in the general ICU population in some organ failures but has peculiar differential characteristics in others. Critical care management strategies and the option of liver transplantation (LT) should be balanced with futility considerations in those with a poor prognosis. Nowadays, LT is the only life-saving treatment that can radically improve the long-term prognosis of patients with ACLF. This narrative review will provide insights on the current understanding of ACLF with emphasis on intensive care management.

PMID:37552333 | DOI:10.1007/s00134-023-07149-x

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