Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003 Jun-Jul;26(6):333-40.

[Fulminant hepatic failure and liver transplantation. Experience of the Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

  • 1Servicio de Cirugía I. Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca. Murcia. España.



Medical treatment for fulminat hepatic failure seeks spontaneous recovery of the liver function, but the results are very discouraging (50-80% mortality). Liver transplantation is an option in patients with a poor evolution despite medical treatment, with survival rates of > 50%. The ideal moment for performing the transplant is controversial, as it should not be done too soon, when the liver disease is still reversible, or tool late, when the patient is in an irreversible clinical situation.


A retrospective review was made of the clinical histories of 34 patients admitted to our hospital with a diagnosis of fulminant hepatic failure, of whom 26 underwent transplantation. The most frequent cause was viral, with 10 cases (38%); no aetiology at all could be established in 11 cases (42%). Thirteen patients had preoperative complications, the most frequent being renal insufficiency. As for degree of ABO/DR compatibility, 13 cases were identical (40%), 17 compatible (51%) and the other 3 incompatible (9%).


Thirty-three transplants were performed in 26 patients: 4 were retransplants due to chronic rejection, 2 for primary graft failure and 1 for hyperacute rejection. The overall mortality rate was 46% (12 patients), the most frequent cause of death being infection (50%). The overall actuarial survival rate was 68% at 1 year, 63% at 3 years and 59% at 5 years. The factors of poor prognosis were renal and respiratory insufficiency, a grade D electroencephalogram, and encephalopathy grades III and IV, the latter being the only prognostic factor identified in the multivariate analysis. The prognostic factors for mortality were a grade D electroencephalogram, encephalopathy grades III and IV and respiratory insufficiency, the latter being the only prognostic factor identified in the multivariate analysis.


The achievement of good results with the use of transplantation in the management of fulminant hepatic failure depends on an optimum selection of transplant candidates, which means identifying them early, i.e. early indication for transplant, reduction in mean waiting time and exclusion of factors of poor prognosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Ediciones Doyma, S.L.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk