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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2008 March;54(1):49-55

language: English

Liver transplantation for acute liver failure in adults

Lucidi V., Buggenhout A., Boon N., Moreno C., Bourgeois N., Donckier V.

Medicosurgical Unit of Liver Transplantation Erasme Hospital Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium


Acute liver failure is a challenging clinical condition, associated with high morbidity and mortality. In well-selected patients, LT (LT) is the only therapeutic which has been demonstrated to improve patient survival. Clichy and King’s College criteria are the two mains scoring systems used to select the patients for liver transplantation. Both models achieve high specificity but remain associated with limited negative predictive value. Several other predictive factors have been evaluated, but none of them have been strongly validated so far. Globally, whole LT appears as the procedure of choice for patients within Clichy and/or King’s College criteria. Due to the severity of the disease and its multisystemic consequences, the results of LT for fulminant liver failure remain inferior to those obtained in elective indications. Accord-ing to local conditions, namely expected waiting time before urgent transplantation and surgical expertise, living donor transplantation and auxiliary transplantations appear as valuable alternatives. These techniques have the respective potential advantages to limit the waiting period before transplantation and to avoid the need for lifelong immunosuppression when native liver recovers, but overall results remain inferior to those obtained with whole LT.

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