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Acute Liver FailureHealth Professionals BlogLiver Transplantation

Intraoperative kidney replacement therapy in acute liver failure

Title: Intraoperative kidney replacement therapy in acute liver failure

Source: Pediatric Nephrology 2024, Mar 25. [Epublication]

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Date of publication: March 2024

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Paediatric acute liver failure (PALF) is often characterised by its rapidity of onset and potential for significant morbidity and even mortality. Patients often develop multiorgan dysfunction/failure, including severe acute kidney injury (AKI). Whilst the management of PALF focuses on complications of hepatic dysfunction, the associated kidney impairment can significantly affect patient outcomes. Severe AKI requiring continuous kidney replacement therapy (CKRT) is a common complication of both PALF and liver transplantation. In both scenarios, the need for CKRT is a poor prognostic indicator. In adults, AKI has been shown to complicate ALF in 25-50% of cases. In PALF, the incidence of AKI is often higher compared to other critically ill paediatric ICU populations, with reports of up to 40% in some observational studies. Furthermore, those presenting with AKI regularly have a more severe grade of PALF at presentation. Observational studies in the paediatric population corroborate this, though data are not as robust-mainly reflecting single-centre cohorts. Perioperative benefits of CKRT include helping to clear water-soluble toxins such as ammonia, balancing electrolytes, preventing fluid overload, and managing raised intracranial pressure. As liver transplantation often takes 6-10 h, it is proposed that these benefits could be extended to the intraoperative period, avoiding any hiatus. Intraoperative CKRT (IoCKRT) has been shown to be practicable, safe and may help sicker recipients tolerate the operation with outcomes analogous with less ill patients not requiring IoCKRT. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide describing the rationale, practicalities, and current evidence base surrounding IoCKRT during transplantation in the paediatric population.

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