Pattern and profile of chronic liver disease in acute on chronic liver failure

Zaigham Abbas, Lubna Shazi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The etiology of the chronic liver disease (CLD) in patients with acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) may vary from region to region. The major cause of underlying CLD is viral (hepatitis B and C) in the East, while it is alcohol related in the West and in some parts of the Indian subcontinent. Autoimmune liver disease and Wilson’s disease are the major underlying etiologies in the pediatric age group. The patients with CLD without cirrhosis should be included when defining ACLF. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease related chronic liver insult in patients with known risk factors for progressive disease should be taken as a chronic liver disease in the setting of ACLF, whereas fatty liver with normal aminotransferases in low risk patients should not. The patients with CLD and previous decompensation should be excluded. Diagnosis of chronic liver disease in the setting of ACLF is made by history, physical examination and previously available or recent laboratory, endoscopic or radiological investigations. A liver biopsy through the transjugular route may help in cases where the presence of underlying CLD or its cause is not clear. The need of liver biopsy in ACLF should, however, be individualized. Standardization of liver biopsy assessment is essential for a uniform approach to the diagnosis and treatment of CLD and acute insult. Tools to measure liver stiffness may aid in identifying patients with advanced fibrosis. Studies are needed to validate the performance of these tests in the setting of ACLF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-372
Number of pages7
JournalHepatology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute on chronic liver failure
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Fatty liver
  • Fibrosis


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