N-Acetylcysteine Use in Non-Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Failure

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Abstract

This article will review the available evidence related to the management of non-acetaminophen induced acute liver failure with N-acetylcysteine. Randomized controlled trials and a meta-analysis were included in this review. The efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of acute liver failure from causes other than acetaminophen toxicity was evaluated. The efficacy of N-acetylcysteine in non-acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure is limited to specific patient populations. Patients classified as Coma Grade I or II are more likely to benefit from the use of this agent. The use of N-acetylcysteine is associated with improved transplant-free survival, not overall survival, in adults. N-Acetylcysteine does not improve the overall survival of patients with non-acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure but may be beneficial in those patients with Coma Grades I–II. Liver transplantation remains the only definitive therapy in advanced disease.

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