Fulminant hepatic failure remains a devastating disease of an uncertain etiology in many clinical circumstances. The implementation of early liver transplantation as the principal therapy for fulminant hepatic failure has gained widespread acceptance and is changing the management and prognosis for this disease process. One year survival rates following liver transplantation are approximately 60-65% and are lower than the one year survival rates of 85% for patients undergoing liver transplantation for chronic liver diseases. The major causes of death for patients undergoing liver transplantation for fulminant hepatic failure are cerebral herniation from intracranial hypertension and infectious complications. The major goals of the physician are to prevent these and other complications of fulminant hepatic failure until a donor organ can be obtained.
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