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Critical care management of patients with end-stage liver disease

Section Editor(s): Sevransky, Jonathan E. MD, MHSAl-Khafaji, Ali MD, MPH; Huang, David T. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e318211fdc4
Concise Definitive Review

Objectives: To review the management of complications related to end-stage liver disease in the intensive care unit. The goal of this review is to address topics important to the practicing physician.

Data Sources: We performed an organ system-based PubMed literature review focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of critical complications of end-stage liver disease.

Data Synthesis and Findings: When available, preferential consideration was given to randomized controlled trials. In the absence of trials, observational and retrospective studies and consensus opinions were included. We present our recommendations for the neurologic, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, and infectious complications of end-stage liver disease.

Conclusions: Complications related to end-stage liver disease have significant morbidity and mortality. Management of these complications in the intensive care unit requires awareness and expertise among physicians from a wide variety of fields.

From the Abdominal Organs Transplant Intensive Care Unit (AA, DTH), CRISMA Center (Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness) (AA, DTH), Department of Critical Care Medicine (AA, DTH), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and Department of Emergency Medicine (DTH), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

The authors have not disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: alkhafajia2@upmc.edu

© 2011 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins