Pediatric Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure in a Specialized Liver Unit: Prevalence, Profile, Outcome, and Predictive Factors

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Objectives:The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence, profile, outcome, and predictive factors of pediatric acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).Methods:All children 3 months to 18 years satisfying the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of Liver Diseases definition of ACLF were included. Data were both extracted from records (January 2011 to December 2014) and prospectively collected (January to October 2015). Successful outcome was defined as survival with native liver at 90 days, whereas poor outcome included those who died or received liver transplantation.Results:Of the 499 children with chronic liver disease (CLD), 56 (11.2%) presented as ACLF, with a mean age of 9.35 (±4.39) years. Wilson disease and autoimmune hepatitis were the commonest underlying CLDs accounting for 24 (42.8%) and 18 (32.1%) cases, respectively. The most frequent events precipitating ACLF were a flare up of the underlying disease in 27 (48.2%) and acute viral hepatitis in 17 (30%). Poor outcome occurred in 22 (39.3%) children: 17 (30.4%) died and 5 (8.9%) received liver transplantation. Poor outcome was associated with grades 3 to 4 hepatic encephalopathy, bilirubin ≥17.5, international normalized ratio ≥3.5, and presence of 2 or more organ failures. On multivariate analysis, a Chronic Liver Failure-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score ≥10 best predicted mortality (odds ratio 20.45, 95% confidence interval 3.9–106.7).Conclusions:ACLF is present in 11.2% of childhood CLD, with a 90-day native liver survival of 61%. A Chronic Liver Failure-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score of ≥10 best predicts mortality at day 90.

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