The Acute Liver Failure Lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center has been devoted to clinical research in viral liver disesase for the past two decades. Since 2007, we have also studied patients with slightly less severe disease, to determine factors that lead to recovery or progression of disease.
A unique feature of ALF is the similarity of the clinical picture across many different etiologies. The most common cause is liver injury due to excessive acetaminophen (APAP), the common pain reliever found in innumerable over-the-counter medications (Tylenol®, Nyquil®, TylenolPM®) and prescription opioid combination medications (Vicodin®, Percocet®).
We have collected data on more than 800 acetaminophen-overdose patients. Patients with drug-induced liver injury (DILI) due to prescription drugs or complementary and alternative medications (CAMs) constitute the second largest group. We also observe viral hepatitis due to hepatitis B or hepatitis A, although vaccination against both diseases have made them less common.