Health Related Quality of Life and Neurocognitive Outcomes in the First Year after Pediatric Acute Liver Failure

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To determine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and neurocognitive impairment in survivors of pediatric acute liver failure (PALF).

Study design

A longitudinal prospective study was conducted. At 6 and 12 months after PALF presentation, surveys of HRQoL were completed for 2- to 19-year-olds and executive functioning for ages 2-16 years. At 12 months, patients 3-16 years of age completed neurocognitive testing. HRQoL scores were compared with a healthy, matched sample. Neurocognitive scores were compared with norms; executive functioning scores were examined categorically.


A total of 52 parent-report HRQoL surveys were completed at 6 months, 48 at 12 months; 25 patients completed neurocognitive testing. The median age at 6 months was 7.9 years (range 3.5-15.0), and final diagnosis was indeterminate for 46.2% (n = 24). Self and parent-report on Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Generic and Multidimensional Fatigue scales fell below the healthy sample at 6 months and 12 months (almost all P < .001). Children reported lower mean scores on cognitive fatigue at 12 months (60.91 ± 22.99) compared with 6 months (73.61 ± 27.49, P = .006). The distribution of Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function scores was shifted downward on parent-report (preschool) for all indices at 6 months (n = 14, P ≤ .003); Global Executive Composite and Emergent Metacognition at 12 months (n = 10, P = .03). Visual Motor Integration (VMI-6) Copying (mean = 90.3 ± 13.8, P = .0002) and VMI-6 Motor Coordination (mean = 85.1 ± 15.2 P = .0002) fell below norms, but full scale IQ (Wechsler Scales) and Attention (Conners' Continuous Performance Test) did not.


Survivors of PALF appear to show deficits in motor skills, executive functioning, HRQoL, and evidence for worsening cognitive fatigue from 6 to 12 months following PALF presentation.

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