Alonso EM, James LP, Zhang S, Squires RH; Pediatric Acute Liver Failure Study Group. Acetaminophen Adducts Detected in Serum of Pediatric Patients With Acute Liver Failure. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015 Jul;61(1):102-7.


Previous studies in patients with acute liver failure identified acetaminophen (APAP) protein adducts in the serum of 12% and 19% of children and adults, respectively, with acute liver failure of indeterminate etiology. This article details the testing of APAP adducts in a subset (n = 393) of patients with varied diagnoses in the Pediatric Acute Liver Failure Study Group (PALFSG).

Serum samples were available from 393 participants included in the PALFSG registry. Adduct measurement was performed using validated methods. Participants were grouped by diagnostic category as known APAP overdose, known other diagnosis, and indeterminate etiology. Demographic and clinical characteristics and participant outcomes were compared by adduct status (positive or negative) within each group.

APAP adduct testing was positive in 86% of participants with known APAP overdose, 6% with other known diagnoses, and 11% with an indeterminate cause of liver failure. Adduct-positive participants were noted to have marked elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase coupled with total serum bilirubin that was significantly lower than adduct-negativepatients. In the indeterminate group, adduct-positive patients had different outcomes than adduct-negative patients (P = 0.03); spontaneous survival was 16 of 21 (76%) in adduct-positive patients versus 75 of 169 (44%) in adduct-negative patients. Prognosis did not vary by adduct status in patients with known diagnoses.

Furthermore, study is needed to understand the relation of APAP exposure, as determined by the presence of APAPadducts, to the clinical phenotype and outcomes of children with acute liver failure.

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