Liver transplantation for acute liver failure

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Under conservative management, the mortality rate of acute liver failure is very high. Liver transplantation is an established life-saving therapy, offering survival rates between 60 and 90°. The decision for liver transplantation should be based on prognostic criteria, including patient's age, aetiology of liver disease, degree and onset of encephalopathy, serum bilirubin, prothrombin time or international normalized ratio (INR), serum creatinine, factor V level and arterial pH. Auxiliary liver transplantation is becoming an attractive treatment modality, allowing temporary bridging of liver function until recovery of the native liver. For children with acute liver failure, living related transplantation represents an additional option. In adult patients, living donation is not yet established since the maximum extent of liver resection safely tolerated and the amount of liver tissue necessary for sufficient graft function is still a matter of debate.

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