Li R, Belle SH, Horslen S, Chen LW, Zhang S, Squires RH; Pediatric Acute Liver Failure Study Group. Clinical Course among Cases of Acute Liver Failure of Indeterminate Diagnosis. J Pediatr. 2016 Apr;171:163-170


To investigate the heterogeneity in clinical course among those with pediatric acute liver failure (PALF) of indeterminate disease etiology.

We studied participants enrolled in the PALF registry study with indeterminate final diagnosis. Growth mixture modeling was used to analyze participants' international normalized ratio, total bilirubin, and hepatic encephalopathy trajectories in the first 7 days following enrollment. Participants with at least 3 values for 1 or more of the measurements were included. We examined the association between the resulting latent subgroup classification with participants' characteristics and disease outcomes. Data from participants with PALF of specified etiologies were used to investigate the potential diagnostic value of the latent subgroups.

In this sample of 380 participants with indeterminate final diagnosis, 115 (30%) experienced mild and quickly improving disease trajectories and another 48 (13%) started with severe disease but improved by day 7. The majority of participants (216, 57%) had disease trajectories that worsened over time. The identified patterns of disease trajectories are predictive of outcome (P < .001). The trajectory patterns are associated with the underlying disease etiology (P < .001) for the 488 participants with PALF of specified etiologies.

The clinical courses of participants with PALF of indeterminate disease etiology exhibit distinct trajectory patterns, which have important prognostic and potentially diagnostic value

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