Acute liver failure: A curable disease by 2024?

William Bernal, William M. Lee, Julia Wendon, Fin Stolze Larsen, Roger Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


Over the last three decades acute liver failure (ALF) has been transformed from a rare and poorly understood condition with a near universally fatal outcome, to one with a well characterized phenotype and disease course. Complex critical care protocols are now applied and emergency liver transplantation (ELT) is an established treatment option. These improvements in care are such that the majority of patients may now be expected to survive (Fig. 1). Key features of the condition have changed dramatically over time, with a remarkable fall in the incidence of cerebral edema and intracranial hypertension, a much feared complication. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of key aspects of the classification, pathophysiology and management of ALF, and discuss the foreseeable challenges that will need to be addressed for further improvements to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S112-S120
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Acute liver failure
  • Ammonia
  • Cerebral edema
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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