Tag Archives: liver

Liver study day @ ICS

Acute liver failure = syndrome of coagulopathy + jaundice + encephalopathy

Reduced glutathione reserves if poor nutrition, neuromuscular disorders

Raised ALT/AST found in 40% of patients taking ‘normal’ max dose of paracetamol 2 weeks.

NAC paracetamol OD. If in doubt of level, GIVE and continue. Giving ANYTIME after significant paracetamol level is beneficial.

In hyperacute ALF cerebral oedema predomiantes. With positive physchotic features i.e. agitated, delirium. Inter cranial hypertension carries high mortality.


Viral screen

Autoimmune screen

NH3 – measurable and the trend. >200 predicts ICH. <75 is rare



Hypertonic saline. 3-30% NaCl. Aim for Na 145-155. Sedate + ventilate, normal CO2, CPP 60-80.

CVVHDF – removing NH3 affords CVS stability, irrespective of renal failure. High volume ultrafiltration

Steroids. Improve CVS stability, no change in outcome.

AoCLF: Terlipressin, Antibx, lactulose, Hb>7, plt > 50, fib >1

Sengstaken Tube:

50ml in stomach balloon then pull back +/- CXR

Then approx 350ml in stomach balloon, then CXR. Rarely need oesophageal balloon

TIPPS – risk of encephalopathy for reduced risk of bleeding.

Principles of some liver units:

Offer 48-72 hours of ‘trial of therapy’ then reassess. Reasonable to offer full support, including renal replacement therapy (‘all or nothing’ approach), then reassess. Though renal failure is a bad prognostic sign, it should not be a self-fulling prophecy.

Good MDT working

Question is : can we get this patient through ICU to discharge to assessment for liver transplant? What is exit/end-game/long term plan?

NAC in non-paracetamol ALF is ‘routine’ (though not in Acute on Chronic Liver failure)

Refer+/-transfer to liver unit early, preferably prior to needing CVVHDF

‘Early trache’



Prognosis in ALF – acuteness? Speed of deterioration is important. Age? Burden of MODS

Markers of high severity: encephalopathy, INR>6.5, creatinine > 600




Change in SOFA score at 48 hours probably best predictor

Validation of CLIF-C ACLF score to define a threshold for futility of intensive care support for patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure



Advanced Care Planning required patient focussed care and goal setting. doi:10.1002/hep.29731

Other thoughts

When looking at creatinine and AKI consider underlying muscle mass (which is likely to be low)

Hepatorenal syndrome: urinary Na+ low. Terlipressin + Albumin

ATN: urinary Na+ high

SBP if WCC>250/mm3

Normal liver -> NAFLD –(inflammation/scarring)-> NASH -> cirrhosis



Aim to reduce protein breakdown as it is a catabolic state. Refeeding occurs due to gluocose load rather than protein. Unusual requirement is 25-30kcal/kg/day. In decompensated liver disease it is 35-40kcal/kg/day. Protein 1.2-1.5g/kg/day.

ESPEN guidelines:



5th East Midlands Critical Care Conference – take home notes


Leadership & Management – Merrill & Reid Social behaviour types/personalities. Know who you are and who you are dealing with.




Anaesthesia for PH/protecting RV – Goldilocks. Not overloaded, not undefiled, must be just right.

Pulmonary Hypertension: sPAP>40mmHg, mPAP>25. sPAP = RAP + 4x[TRVmax]^2

Mort 5%

ECG: strain pattern. RAD. ST depression V1- V4

On echo: TR Vmax = underestimate.

RHS: TAPSE<15mm, RV thickness >5mm (in diastole)

Tips: Open, not laparoscopic surgery. A-line + CVC. Avoid ketamine/des/N2O (as they increase PVR). fiO2 0.6, PEEP 5-8. PaCo2 4-4.5. Warm everything. Post-op HDU/ICU. Phone a friend – local/own PH unit. Should they be for full MOS? What is disease trajectory? Beware NYHA Class 3-4.

Signs of problems: High CVP + low BP, low SpO2, reduced end organ perfusion. Consider cautious fluid bolus 150-200ml OR diuretic. Optimise ventilation, Keep in SR (Amiodarone +/- DCCV), avoid b-blocker. Start norad +/- vasopressin. Then adrenaline. Then milrinone. Then iNO, epoprostenol


Liver failure.

Think: Is it the culprit or a bystander? Is it treatable? What further investigations (imaging, bloods, bx) will help?

Mortality: encephalopathy > ascites + bleed > other

Citrate RRT seems to be safe. However need to consider low Ca2+:Ca2+ ratio. Monitor for accumulation + toxicity

Use albumin for high volume replacement. Evidence only for paracentesis.

Adrenal dysfunction, so consider steroid (hydrocortisone 50mg qds) if increasing vasoconstrictor.

In GI bleeed -> start NG feed early (despite ‘protein load’ )

Prophylaxis antibiotics

Early TIPS



BM ventilation usually is biggest challenge. DL usually is ok – though increased difficult predicted in neck circ > 40 cm (especially > 50cm) + MP3. Apples worse than pears.

Proposed induction strategy:

Pre-O2 in ramped position, fiO2 0.8, PEEP 5-10

Early iGel instead of BMV

Muscle relaxant

Video laryngoscopy

If predicted difficult DL/VL + can’t access neck think AFOI


Need patient centred (not doctor centred) outcome measures. Ideally standardised.


On fatigue. Samn Perelli scoring system.


Vitamin D

In UK all population at risk of Vit D def which increases mortality which can be treated/reversed with treatment. Jury is out on ICU treatment of Vit D, however screening and treatment may be prudent/pragmatic.


Currently in progress VITALISE, VIOLET

Vit D3 better than cholicalciferol.

Should we screen pre-op?



Consider having electronic frailty index (based on Rockwood method). Works with EMIS and SystemOne.

Assessment methods: Gait speed, Clinical Frailty Score, Edmonton Frailty Score