LIVER FAILURE

Acute liver failure (ALF)

ALF is a rare condition that affects roughly 10 people per million annually in developed countries--approximately 2000 people per year in the U.S.  It strikes rapidly when otherwise healthy individuals suffer a drug or virus induced insult to the liver. Patients can progress to a coma within 6 to 12 days due to multi-organ failure as a result of impaired liver function. The only treatment option is liver transplantation. Survival with a transplant averages ~85% but survival without a transplant is only ~50%.

 

Acute on Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF)

ACLF is a condition where patients with existing cirrhosis of the liver suffer an acute insult. Primary causes include alcohol abuse and Hepatitis B/C/E infection. Approximately 30,000 patients a year in the US are admitted to hospital with ACLF and global mortality rates of ACLF patients averages 33%. The only treatment option is liver transplantation.

 

Chronic liver failure (CLF)

CLF is a condition that arises gradually, developing over months or years. It is reflective of the progressive loss of liver function that occurs as healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue. The major liver diseases that contribute to cirrhosis and culminate in CLF include: alcohol associated liver disease (AALD), Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, (NAFLD), viral and autoimmune hepatitis, drug induced liver injury (DILI). More than 1 million deaths a year are attributed to chronic liver failure globally, and the numbers are increasing as a result of rising rates of obesity, alcohol abuse and hepatitis.

 

Learn more about liver diseases in general on the Canadian Liver Foundation website. 

Key References:

  • Asrani et al., 2019. J. Hepatology Vol 70: 151-171

  • Organ Transplantation & Procurement Network,  Milliman Research Report: 2017 Organ & Tissue Transplant Costs

LIVER FAILURE

Acute liver failure (ALF)

ALF is a rare condition that affects roughly 10 people per million annually in developed countries--approximately 2000 people per year in the U.S.  It strikes rapidly when otherwise healthy individuals suffer a drug or virus induced insult to the liver. Patients can progress to a coma within 6 to 12 days due to multi-organ failure as a result of impaired liver function. The only treatment option is liver transplantation. Survival with a transplant averages ~85% but survival without a transplant is only ~50%.

 

Acute on Chronic Liver Failure (ACLF)

ACLF is a condition where patients with existing cirrhosis of the liver suffer an acute insult. Primary causes include alcohol abuse and Hepatitis B/C/E infection. Approximately 30,000 patients a year in the US are admitted to hospital with ACLF and global mortality rates of ACLF patients averages 33%. The only treatment option is liver transplantation.

 

Chronic liver failure (CLF)

CLF is a condition that arises gradually, developing over months or years. It is reflective of the progressive loss of liver function that occurs as healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue. The major liver diseases that contribute to cirrhosis and culminate in CLF include: alcohol associated liver disease (AALD), Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, (NAFLD), viral and autoimmune hepatitis, drug induced liver injury (DILI). More than 1 million deaths a year are attributed to chronic liver failure globally, and the numbers are increasing as a result of rising rates of obesity, alcohol abuse and hepatitis.

Learn more about liver diseases in general on the Canadian Liver Foundation website. 

LIVER TRANSPLANTATION

Liver transplantation is currently the only viable treatment option for these patients. More than 30,000 transplants are performed globally each year, at a cost of roughly (U.S.)$800,000 per procedure. Lifelong immunosuppression post-transplant places additional burdens on patients and the healthcare systems that support them.

 

It is estimated that 30%-50% of liver failure patients die waiting for a donor. 

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