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Etiology, clinical profile, and inhospital mortality of acute-on-chronic liver failure: a prospective study.

Jha AK, Nijhawan S, Rai RR, Nepalia S, Jain P, Suchismita A.
Indian J Gastroenterol. 2013 Mar;32(2):108-14. doi: 10.1007/s12664-012-0295-9. Epub 2013 Mar 23.


Department of Gastroenterology, Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur 302 004, India.



SThe causes of acute injury in acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) are variable. There may be simultaneous presence of more than one acute insult. We describe the clinical profile of ACLF and the effect of dual acute insult on the natural history.


Patients with jaundice diagnosed to have ACLF were prospectively enrolled. Patients were evaluated for the clinical presentation, etiology of acute decompensation and underlying chronic liver disease, and inhospital mortality. We compared the clinical profile of patients who had dual acute insult with those of single/unknown insult.


Fifty-two patients with ACLF (mean age 38.6 ± 16.7 years; M/F 41:11) were included. Hepatitis virus infection (46.1 %) and bacterial infection (36.5 %) were the most common acute insults. Hepatitis virus infections were the sole acute insult in 34.6 % and associated with another injury in 11.5 %. Bacterial infections were identified as acute insult in 19 patients (sole acute insult in 13). Drugs, autoimmune disease, surgery, malaria, and dengue were other acute injuries identified. The cause of acute decompensation was unknown in 11.5 %. Mortality (66.6 % vs. 51.1 %) was higher in patients with dual insult (n=9) as compared with single/unknown insult (n=43).


Hepatitis virus and bacterial infection/sepsis were the common acute insults in ACLF. Dual acute insult is not uncommon, poses diagnostic dilemma, and may increase mortality in these patients. Plasmodium falciparum infection and dengue fever may be associated with ACLF.


    • Total cases enrolled = 10516
    • Total centers across Asia = More than 95
    • Total manuscripts = More than 40
    • Total video conferences conducted = 98
    • Total abstract presented in conference by AARC group = More than 50

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