Show Summary Details
Page of

Liver failure 

Liver failure
Liver failure

George F. Mells

and Graeme J.M. Alexander


August 28, 2014: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Extensive revisions include (1) definitions of types of liver failure; (2) classification of acute liver failure; (3) causes of acute liver failure; (4) causes of chronic liver failure; (5) grading systems for hepatic encephalopathy; (6) prognostic scoring systems in acute liver failure and chronic liver disease; (7) management of acute and chronic liver failure and their complications.

Two relevant case histories from Oxford Case Histories in Gastroenterology and Hepatology have been added to this chapter.

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 September 2021

Case History—A 53 yr old man, known to have alcoholic liver cirrhosis, now presenting with jaundice, ascites and deteriorating renal function.

Case History—A 62 yr old man presenting with confusion and ascites.

Liver failure occurs when loss of hepatic parenchymal function exceeds the capacity of hepatocytes to regenerate or repair liver injury. Acute liver failure is characterized by jaundice and prolongation of the prothrombin time in the context of recent acute liver injury. Acute liver failure is the syndrome of hepatic encephalopathy occurring within 8 weeks of the first onset of liver disease. Chronic liver failure is characterized by a chronic liver injury with one or more features of liver failure....

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.