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Acute Liver Failure due to Wilson Disease: Eight Years of the National Liver Transplant Program in Uruguay

Victoria Mainardi, Karina Rando, Marcelo Valverde, Daniela Olivari, Jorge Castelli, Gabriela Rey, Solange Gerona


Introduction and aim. Wilson's disease (WD) is an uncommon cause of acute liver failure (ALF). Our aim was to describe clinical features, diagnostic findings, treatments, and outcomes of patients with ALF due to WD. Material and methods. Retrospective medical record reviews of all patients with ALF due to WD in eight years in Uruguay. Results. WD was the cause of six (15%) of thirty-nine ALF cases. All patients were females, with a mean age of 18 years. Four patients presented with hyperacute liver failure and two with acute failure. Jaundice was the main complaint of all patients. Mean total bilirubin (TB), alkaline phosphatase (AP), AST, and ALT were 27.5 mg/dL, 45.5 IU/l, 156 IU/L, and 51 IU/L, respectively. Ceruloplasmin levels were low in four patients, urinary cooper was high in four, and two had Kayser-Fleischer rings. All patients had Coombs-negative hemolytic anemia, acute kidney injury, histochemical identifiable copper, and advanced fibrosis on liver histology. The average MELD score was 36. All patients were treated with d-penicillamine and listed for urgent liver transplantation (LT). Prometheus® was performed in one patient. Three patients died: two without LT and one after LT. Three patients survived: one without LT (New Wilson Index < 11) and two with LT. The referral time to the program and the total time (referral plus waiting list time) were longer for non-survivors than for survivors (14 vs. 3 days and 23 vs. 8 respectively). Conclusion. All cases had typical clinical, analytical and histopathology characteristics. Early referral was determinant of prognosis.

Key words. Chelation therapy, Liver transplantation, Referral time, Waiting list time, Mortality

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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