Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Hepatic failure is a serious illness to the human body as it fails to perform several important functions that are necessary for maintaining the normal healthy life. The hepatic failure can be described as acute or chronic i.e., sudden onset or slow progressing liver failure. But recently, the researcher identified a new syndrome known as an acute-on-chronic liver failure. It is characterized by sudden decompensation of chronic liver disease.

The Concept of Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure

Poor prognosis and high short-term mortality > 15% within a month (28 days) was reported in recent years because of this acute-on-chronic liver failure syndrome. Alcohol abuse is the main reason for predominant death in the western countries, whereas, in the eastern side, chronic viral hepatitis B infection is frequently reported precipitating factors. The chances of survival are not more than 3 months as it causes multi-organ failure specifically kidney dysfunction, which is the most common. Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is the outcome of acute on-chronic liver failure characterized by renal sodium retention and impairment in urine excretion. Type 1 HRS is associated with a high probability of death within days or 1 to 2 weeks. In case of viral hepatitis, death cases reported within 4 weeks as jaundice and blood coagulation develop to the difficult phase.

Liver Disease Stages 1-4

Liver disease grouped into 4 stages. Stage 1 is the beginning phase of inflammation. Stage 2 is the commencement stage of fibrosis i.e., it forms irregular surface because of fiber-like tissue and scars. The blood flow starts interrupting and studies have shown increased mortality risk due to liver fibrosis. Stage 1 and 2 are undoubtedly curable, reversible and if it is untreated, the risk of death is within a year. Stage 3 is the chronic cirrhosis an permanent scarring blocks the blood flow. Most dangerous stage and the leading cause of death in western countries. If the symptoms are not managed immediately it may lead to advanced stage liver failure death within a year. Stage 4 is the end-stage liver failure condition patients have ascites and variceal bleeding. It is irreversible and death occurs within 3 months.

How Long Does It Take To Die Of Liver Failure?

How Long Does It Take To Die Of Liver Failure?

How long does it take to die of liver failure relies on the seriousness of the disease and immune status of the patients. Researcher classified the seriousness of the end-stage liver failure cases as low, moderate & high-risk category. If the patients are in the high-risk group, within next 90 days the risk factor of liver failure death is around 40 percent. If it is a moderate risk, within next 90 days the risk factor of liver failure death is about 11 percent and in case of the low-risk category, within the next 90 days, the risk factor of liver failure death is about 4.3 percent.

Non-Alcoholic And Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease another serious threat to people who drink little to no alcohol. Marked by liver inflammation because of an excess of fat storage in hepatic cells and the consequences are utmost equal to damage caused by heavy drinkers. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and abnormal lipid level are associated with this disease which is common in western countries affecting more than 100 million people. If it is not treated it leads to stage 4 cirrhosis and malignancy. A major reason for morbidity and mortality in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease sufferers is cardiovascular disease, followed by malignancies.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease account ~ 4% of all deaths annually and 5% of all disabilities globally. The percentage is higher i.e., 60% to 70% in patients with type 2 diabetes. The clinical manifestation is serious has a short-term mortality of up to 50% in patients within 3 years who are unresponsive to treatment.

Prevention and Therapy

Changes in lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of non-alcoholic and alcoholic fatty liver disease. Appropriate treatment with healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management help to prevent this silent disease. Psychological therapy to abstain from alcohol i.e., abstinence is an effective way to rid of this liver disease.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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