Biochemical prognostic markers of outcome in non-paracetamol-induced fulminant hepatic failure

KJ Dabos*, PN Newsome, JA Parkinson, HH Mohammed, IH Sadler, JN Plevris, PC Hayes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background. Fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) is associated with major metabolic disturbances, the onset and severity of which can predict clinical outcome. This study uses admission blood samples to identify early biochemical markers of clinical outcome in patients with non-paracetamol-induced FHF.

Patients and Methods. Fifty-nine patients admitted to the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit with non-paracetamol-induced FHF were studied. Plasma samples were collected at a median of 5.4 hr after admission to our unit and analyzed using conventional laboratory tests and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Results. A total of 19 patients underwent transplantation, 15 patients died without undergoing transplantation, and 25 patients survived with medical management alone. There were significantly lower levels of lactate, alanine, valine, and bilirubin and significantly higher levels of pyruvate and albumin in patients who survived spontaneously compared with the other two groups. By use of multiple logistic regression analysis, an equation was devised that best predicted clinical outcome: 0.5x(albumin [g/L])-2x(lactate [mmol/L])-36x(valine [mmol/L])-38x(pyruvate [mmol/L]). Values of less than 2 were associated with poor clinical outcome and had a positive predictive value of 91%, a negative predictive value of 86%, a sensitivity of 94%, and a specificity of 86% for death or transplantation. This algorithm can be applied on admission, thus expediting decision-making.

Conclusion. We identified biochemical markers that may be useful in predicting outcome in patients with non-paracetamol-induced FHF and should be evaluated further in a different patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2004

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