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May 26, 2021 – Hepatology


Background and Aims

Acute liver failure (ALF) is a rare but dramatic clinical syndrome characterized by massive hepatic necrosis leading to multiorgan failure. It is difficult to predict the outcomes in patients with ALF using existing prognostic models. We aimed to analyze hepatic perfusion using contrast-enhanced ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound in patients with ALF and investigate its utility as a prognostic biomarker.

Approach and Results

In this prospective observational study, 208 patients with acute liver injury/ALF were enrolled from 2015 to 2019. We evaluated 50 consecutive patients with ALF with Doppler ultrasound and contrast-enhanced ultrasound performed on admission. The cases were divided into the following two groups: survivors (recovered without surgical intervention) and nonsurvivors (died of ALF or underwent liver transplantation). The time to peak and peak intensity of hepatic artery, portal vein, hepatic vein, and liver parenchyma were calculated using the time-intensity curve analysis. The hepatic artery (HA) resistive index was calculated using the fast Fourier transform analysis of Doppler ultrasound. The time interval (TI) between the time to peak of HA and liver parenchyma (LP) was significantly shorter in the nonsurvivors than in the survivors (P < 0.0001). The area under the receiver operating curve values for TI (HA, LP), Japanese scoring system, HE prediction model, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score, and King’s College Hospital criteria for the prediction of poor prognosis were 0.953, 0.914, 0.861, 0.816, and 0.731, respectively. The most appropriate cutoff value of TI (HA, LP) was 6.897 seconds; the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 94.4%, 90.6%, 85.0%, and 96.7%, respectively.


TI (HA, LP) accurately predicts the outcome in patients with ALF and may be useful in clinical decision making.

Authors: Hidekatsu Kuroda, Tamami Abe, Yudai Fujiwara, Tomoaki Nagasawa, Yuji Suzuki, Keisuke Kakisaka, Yasuhiro Takikawa

Department of Internal Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Yahaba-cho, Japan

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