2013, Number 1
Ann Hepatol 2013; 12 (1)
Sales I, Dzierba AL, Smithburger PL, Rowe D, Kane-Gill SL
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ABSTRACTThe purpose of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of acetylcysteine in the treatment of acute liver failure not related to acetaminophen. A search of MEDLINE April 2003 through May 2012 using the Pub- Med database was conducted using the keywords acetylcysteine and non-acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure or acetylcysteine and liver failure. All human case reports, case series, and research articles that discussed the use of acetylcysteine for non-acetaminophen induced liver failure were evaluated. A total of 263 articles were identified during this broad search with 11 articles included for review in this article; eight case reports, two retrospective trials, and one prospective, randomized, double-blind multicenter study. In conclusion, the data suggest marginal benefit of IV acetylcysteine in NAI-ALF with coma grades I-II; however, the routine use of acetylcysteine cannot be recommended. It may be considered in non-transplant centers while awaiting referral or when transplantation is not an option. Further studies are necessary to determine optimal dosing, duration, and criteria for patient selection.