What You Should Know About Hepatic Failure

by Dr. Sonal Asthana

Hepatic failure, also known as acute liver failure, is a medical condition where the liver fails to function properly. Liver is the second largest organ in the body and is responsible for processing everything we eat and drink. It also produces bile, which is essential for the digestion of food.

Hepatic failure is a serious medical condition that if left untreated could have fatal consequences. To help you understand what causes hepatic failure, let’s review what is acute liver failure and what is acute liver disease from the top liver specialist in Bangalore, Aster CMI.

What Is Acute Liver Failure?

Acute liver failure is a condition where the liver fails to fulfill its regular functions properly. It is important to understand that acute liver failure differs from chronic liver failure. Acute liver failure happens quickly over the course of just a few weeks on a person who generally has no history of pre-existing liver conditions. 

Chronic liver failure gradually shows up in a patient and takes time before the symptoms appear. Hepatic failure is a very serious medical condition that requires immediate medical treatment. In some cases, even a liver transplant may be required to treat a hepatic failure. Let’s review the different liver failure causes and its symptoms.

What Causes Hepatic Failure?

Hepatic failure has two types of problems, namely acute liver failure and chronic liver failure. The cause of hepatic failure differs based on the type of liver failure you have. For this blog, we will be discussing the causes of acute liver failure mainly.

Viral Hepatitis

Any type of acute hepatitis infection including hepatitis A, B, C, and E can lead to hepatic failure. These infections cause serious damage to your liver and can lead to acute liver failure if proper medical care is not administered in a timely manner.

Toxin Exposure

Liver damage is common due to the overexposure to certain drugs that are found commonly in antibiotics, antidepressants, and antifungal medications. These drugs can damage your liver and cause hepatic failure. Apart from drugs, ingesting poisonous mushrooms or industrial chemicals can also cause hepatic failure.

Liver Injury Due to Drugs

Idiosyncratic response to certain medication, allergic reactions and overdose to medications and drugs can also cause hepatic failure.

Autoimmune Hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition where the immune system in your body attacks the cells in your liver causing inflammation and injury to the liver.

Wilson’s Disease

Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder that leads to the accumulation of copper in the liver. The accumulation of copper damages the liver, causes inflammation and has the potential to cause hepatic failure.

Apart from the reasons listed above, hepatic failure can even be caused due to no obvious cause. So, it is crucial that you keep a check on the symptoms listed below.

Symptoms of Hepatic Failure

Here are some of the most common symptoms of hepatic failure.

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyeballs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper right part of your abdomen
  • Tremors 
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Musty or sweet odor in your breath
  • Swelling in the belly
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Problems with mobility

All the symptoms mentioned above can appear suddenly in an otherwise healthy person. It is important to take them seriously and get the patient proper medical care promptly.

Treatment Options for Hepatic Failure

Once doctors have confirmed that the patient has hepatic failure, the treatment is based on the cause of the condition. If the patient has viral hepatitis, antiviral medications are used to relieve the symptoms. Similarly, if any medication is causing the condition, the drug is immediately stopped and replaced with other medicines. For genetic conditions, they are identified and accordingly treated to aid the symptoms.

Assessing the amount of liver damage is crucial to treat hepatic failure. Doctors diagnose the severity of the condition using several diagnostic tests. Based on their results, doctors prescribe the treatments mentioned above if the condition has been diagnosed at an early stage. If the liver damage is extensive, surgery is recommended to the patient. If the person is otherwise healthy even a damaged liver can grow back, and surgery is used to just remove the damaged part of the liver. In certain cases, liver transplant is even required to save the patient.


Hepatic failures need to be diagnosed and treated promptly, so if you are looking for a reliable hospital in Bangalore for any of your medical needs, check out Aster CMI. We are proud to be working with the top liver specialist in Bangalore, which helps us offer the best medical services to anyone requiring prompt treatment due to conditions like hepatic failure. To learn more about Aster CMI or to book an appointment, visit our website today.


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