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A disorder characterized by the inability of the liver to metabolize chemicals in the body. Causes include cirrhosis and drug-induced hepatotoxicity. Signs and symptoms include jaundice and encephalopathy. Laboratory test results reveal abnormal plasma levels of ammonia, bilirubin, lactic dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase

Symptoms of Liver Failure

The following features are indicative of Liver Failure:
  • pain in the upper right abdomen
  • vomiting
  • abdominal swelling
  • jaundice
  • nausea
  • sleepiness
  • malaise
  • confusion
It is possible that Liver Failure shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Liver Failure

The following are the most common causes of Liver Failure:
  • poisonous wild mushroom Amanita phalloides
  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • acetaminophen overdose
  • antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anticonvulsants
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • sepsis

Other Causes of Liver Failure

The following are the less common causes of Liver Failure:
  • shock
  • Wilson's disease
  • chronic alcohol use
  • obesity

Risk Factors for Liver Failure

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Liver Failure:
  • heavy alcohol use
  • body piercings
  • exposure to other people's blood and body fluids
  • injecting drugs using shared needles
  • unprotected sex
  • exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • high levels of triglycerides in your blood

Prevention of Liver Failure

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Liver Failure. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • by avoiding contact with other people's blood and body fluids
  • by using medications wisely
  • by drinking alcohol in moderation
  • by maintaining a healthy weight
  • get vaccinated against liver diseases

Occurrence of Liver Failure

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Liver Failure cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Liver Failure can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Liver Failure can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Liver Failure

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Liver Failure:
  • Blood tests: To assess the liver disease
  • Abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scanning: To detect liver damage and the cause of liver problems
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To determine the certain causes of acute liver failure
  • Liver biopsy: To diagnose liver disease

Doctor for Diagnosis of Liver Failure

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Liver Failure:
  • Hepatologist

Complications of Liver Failure if untreated

Yes, Liver Failure causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Liver Failure is left untreated:
  • excessive bleeding
  • kidney failure
  • bleeding disorders
  • cerebral edema

Procedures for Treatment of Liver Failure

The following procedures are used to treat Liver Failure:
  • Surgery: Treats the liver diseases
  • Liver transplant: By replacing the diseased liver with a healthy one
  • Xenotransplantation: Replaces the human liver with one from a nonhuman animal source
  • Hepatocyte transplantation: Transplants only the cells of the liver and temporarily delay the need for a liver transplant

Self-care for Liver Failure

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Liver Failure:
  • Alcohol use: By limiting alcohol use
  • Overweight: By not to be overweight

Patient Support for Treatment of Liver Failure

The following actions may help Liver Failure patients:
  • Social support: Helps in providing awareness about the disease and discussing advance directives with patients pursuing curative therapies
  • Caregiver support: Helps in discussing goals of care

Is Liver Failure Infectious?

Yes, Liver Failure is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • by sharing razor blades or toothbrushes
  • accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids
  • by sexual contact

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Liver Failure.

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