Characterization and Outcomes of Young Infants with Acute Liver Failure

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The Children's Hospital, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA.
The Journal of pediatrics (Impact Factor: 3.79). 05/2011; 159(5):813-818.e1. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.04.016
Source: PubMed


To characterize infants aged ≤ 90 days enrolled in an international, multicenter, prospective registry of children aged < 18 years with acute liver failure (ALF).
The Pediatric Acute Liver Failure (PALF) Study Group collects prospective data on children from birth to 18 years. We analyzed data from infants aged ≤ 90 days enrolled in the PALF Study before May 18, 2009.
A total of 148 infants were identified in the PALF registry (median age, 18 days). Common etiologies of ALF were indeterminate (38%), neonatal hemochromatosis (13.6%), and herpes simplex virus (12.8%). Spontaneous survival occurred in 60% of the infants, 16% underwent liver transplantation, and 24% died without undergoing liver trsansplantation. Infants with indeterminate ALF were more likely to undergo liver transplantation than those with viral-induced ALF (P = .0002). The cumulative incidence of death without liver transplantation was higher in infants with viral ALF (64%) compared with those with neonatal hemochromatosis (16%) or indeterminate ALF (14%) (P = .0007).
ALF in young infants presents unique diagnostic considerations. Spontaneous survival is better than previously thought. Liver transplantation provides an additional option for care.

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    • "The mortality rate of infants with ALF is up to 58% (Sundaram et al. 2011). The progression of HE in the setting of ALF due to HSV infection is erratic but may evolve to seizures and refractory ICP (Verma et al. 2006). "
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