Epidemiology of liver failure

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2011 Oct;35(10):610-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2011.03.010. Epub 2011 May 6.


The etiology of fulminant hepatitis varies in different countries and at different times. The main causes of fulminant hepatitis are viruses, paracetamol, drugs (other than paracetamol), poisons and 15-30% remained of undetermined origin. The prevalence of these etiologies varies according to the geographic region and has changed over the past 10 years. Paracetamol has now overtaken viruses (particularly hepatitis B virus) as the leading cause of fulminant hepatitis. Establishing the cause of fulminant hepatitis is an important step in the management of acute liver failure, so that specific therapy can be initiated and any contraindications to liver transplantation be eliminated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Liver Failure, Acute / epidemiology*
  • Liver Failure, Acute / etiology*