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Acute Liver Failure

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is acute liver failure?

Acute liver failure occurs when your liver is damaged and suddenly stops working properly. This may cause damage to other tissues or organs, such as your brain or kidneys. Acute liver failure can become life-threatening.

Abdominal Organs

What are the signs and symptoms of acute liver failure?

What causes acute liver failure?

The exact cause of acute liver failure may not be known. Any of the following may increase your risk:

What do I need to know about health problems acute liver failure may cause?

How is acute liver failure diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you. Your provider will ask if you have had any liver problems in the past. Tell your provider about your past and current medicines. Your provider will also check for other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. You may need any of the following:

How is acute liver failure treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your acute liver failure, and other health problems caused by liver failure. The goal of treatment is to decrease damage to your liver and control your symptoms. You will need to stay in the hospital for treatment. If you have a pregnancy-related condition that caused liver failure, you may need to give birth early. You may need any of the following:

What can I do to manage or prevent acute liver failure?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) or have someone call if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.