Hyperlactatemia has been suggested as a prognostic marker in acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure, and a modification of the King’s College Hospital criteria to incorporate arterial lactate measurements has recently been proposed. The aims of the present study were to further evaluate arterial lactate as a prognostic marker in acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure and to analyze its relationship to known causes of hyperlactatemia such as multiple organ failure and inflammation.Design:
Data were collected early after admission and again at the time of onset of grade 3–4 hepatic encephalopathy from acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure. Multiple organ failure and inflammatory response were assessed by the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score and manifestation of the severe inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), respectively.Setting:
A specialized liver intensive care unit at a tertiary liver center.Patients:
One hundred and one consecutive patients with acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure and grade 3–4 hepatic encephalopathy.Interventions:
None.Measurements and Main Results:
Arterial lactate was higher in nonsurvivors than in survivors both early after admission (9.8 ± 6.5 mmol/L vs. 5.2 ± 4.2 mmol/L, p = .00004) and at the time of onset of hepatic encephalopathy (6.9 ± 5.6 mmol/L vs. 3.2 ± 2.0 mmol/L, p < .00001). At both time points, arterial lactate significantly correlated with SOFA score and the number of SIRS components fulfilled. Applying the lactate modification of the King’s College Hospital criteria increased their sensitivity but reduced their specificity to <50%.Conclusions:
The study confirmed arterial lactate as a prognostic marker in acetaminophen-induced fulminant hepatic failure. Arterial lactate correlated with SOFA score and with the number of SIRS components fulfilled. The lactate modification of the King’s College Hospital criteria showed no obvious advantages over the existing selection criteria.