Acute liver failure occurs when your liver rapidly loses its ability to function. More commonly, liver failure develops slowly over the course of years. But in acute liver failure, liver failure develops in a matter of days.
Acute liver failure can cause many complications, including excessive bleeding and increasing pressure in the brain. Another term for acute liver failure is fulminant hepatic failure.
Acute liver failure is a medical emergency that requires hospitalization. Some causes of acute liver failure can be reversed with treatment. But in other situations, a liver transplant may be the only cure for acute liver failure.
Signs and symptoms of acute liver failure may include:
When to see a doctor
Acute liver failure can develop quickly in an otherwise healthy person, and it is life-threatening. If you or someone you know suddenly develops a yellowing of the eyes or skin, tenderness in the upper abdomen or any unusual changes in mental state, personality or behavior, seek medical attention right away.
Acute liver failure occurs when liver cells are damaged significantly and no longer able to function. Acute liver failure has many potential causes, including: