Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Over the past 2 decades, the concept of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) has been proposed as an alternate path in the natural history of decompensated cirrhosis. ACLF thus is characterized by the presence of a precipitating event (identified or unidentified) in subjects with underlying chronic liver disease leading to rapid progression of liver injury and ending in multi-organ dysfunction characterized by high short-term mortality. Multiple organ failure and an increased risk for mortality are key to the diagnosis of ACLF. The prevalence of ACLF ranges from 24% to 40% in hospitalized patients. The pathophysiological basis of ACLF can be explained using the following 4-part model: predisposing event, injury caused by a precipitating event, response to injury, and organ failure. Although several mathematic scores have been proposed for identifying outcomes with ACLF, it is as yet unclear whether these organ failure scores are truly prognostic or only reflective of the dying process. Treatment paradigms continue to evolve but consist of early recognition, supportive intensive care, and consideration of liver transplantation before onset of irreversible multiple organ failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2128-2139
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Cirrhosis
  • MELD
  • Portal Hypertension
  • Sepsis
  • Survival Scores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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