Fulminant hepatic failure: The role of liver transplantation as primary therapy

John J. Brems, Jonathan R. Hiatt, Kenneth P. Ramming, William J. Quinones-Baldrich, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Fulminant hepatic failure is a clinical syndrome with a high mortality rate when traditional supportive therapy is used as treatment. Orthotopic liver transplantation has been proposed as a therapeutic option. Clinical and logistic difficulties include the rapid deterioration of the patients, unpredictable recovery, and the immediate need for a donor organs. Including this series, a total of 41 patients with fulminant hepatic failure have been transplanted, with a survival rate of 61 percent. We have reported eight liver transplantations carried out in six patients. Four of the patients survived (66 percent). Death was due to irreversible neurologic dysfunction in one patient and fungal sepsis in one patient. These results indicate that orthotopic liver transplantation is a practical therapeutic option for fulminant hepatic failure which should be considered early, before neurologic deterioration becomes irreversible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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