Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare life-threatening condition characterized by rapid progression and death. Causes vary according to geographic region, with acetaminophen and drug-induced ALF being the most common causes in the United States. Determining the cause aids in predicting the prognosis and the presentation of manifestations and guides providers to perform cause-specific management. At initial presentation, nonspecific symptoms are present but may progress to complications, including cerebral edema, infection, coagulopathy, renal failure, cardiopulmonary failure, and acid-base and/or metabolic disturbances. Although some cases of ALF resolve with conservative measures, liver transplantation is the ultimate treatment in many cases.
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