Hepatic failure

Keywords: Liver failure

Key Information

Appropriate Tests


Bilirubin, Aspartate aminotransferase, Alanine aminotransferase, Alkaline phosphatase, Gamma glutamyltransferase, Albumin, Glucose, Electrolytes, Creatinine, Urea. Full blood count, Platelet count, Blood film, Prothrombin time, APTT, Thrombin time, Fibrinogen assay, D Dimer (Fibrin degradation products).

Liver biopsy, if appropriate.


Ammonia (plasma) may assist diagnosis, particularly if the patient is not jaundiced.

See also Hepatitis.

Infection, especially

  • Hepatitis A virus infection
  • Hepatitis B virus infection
  • Hepatitis C virus infection
  • Hepatitis D virus infection
  • Hepatitis E virus infection


Drugs, especially

  • Paracetamol (overdose)
  • Halothane
  • Isoniazid


Paracetamol level. See also Figure 2.

Hepatic venous occlusion


  • Budd-Chiari syndrome


Fatty liver of pregnancy


Reye's syndrome


Wilson's disease



See Cirrhosis.

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