European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 5, pp 573–581 | Cite as

Neonatal liver failure: aetiologies and management—state of the art

  • Naresh P. Shanmugam
  • Sanjay Bansal
  • Anne Greenough
  • Anita Verma
  • Anil DhawanEmail author


Acute liver failure in neonates is rare, but carries a high mortality. Neonatal liver failure can be defined as “failure of the synthetic function of liver within 4 weeks of birth”. Encephalopathy is not essential for the diagnosis. Acute liver failure in neonates differs from children with regard to aetiology and outcome. Common causes of neonatal liver failure are neonatal hemochromatosis, haematological malignancies, viral infections and liver-based metabolic defects. Early diagnosis and referral to a paediatric liver centre is recommended as liver transplantation is the only definitive treatment when supportive or a disease-specific treatment fails.


Neonatal liver failure Acute liver failure Liver transplantation Hepatocyte transplantation Neonatal hemochromatosis Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis Mitochondrial disorders 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naresh P. Shanmugam
    • 1
  • Sanjay Bansal
    • 1
  • Anne Greenough
    • 2
  • Anita Verma
    • 3
  • Anil Dhawan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Paediatric Liver, GI & Nutrition CentreKing’s College HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Neonatal Intensive Care UnitKing’s College HospitalLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Medical MicrobiologyKing’s College HospitalLondonUK

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