Pediatric Liver Failure

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Health℠ leads the field in innovative care of digestive and nutritional conditions in infants, children and adolescents.


Fax: 214-456-8005


F: 469-497-2511

Park Cities

Fax: 469-488-7001


Fax: 214-867-9511

Request an Appointment with codes: Gastroenterology (GI)

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What is Pediatric Liver Failure?

Pediatric liver failure is a condition in which a child’s liver rapidly deteriorates (acute) to the point that it can no longer function normally or in which the liver loses most or all of its function (chronic).

What are the different types of Pediatric Liver Failure?

Acute liver failure

Acute liver failure is when the liver deteriorates rapidly.

Chronic liver failure (end-stage liver disease or ESLD)

Chronic liver failure or end-state liver disease (ESLD) is when the liver deteriorates gradually over time as a result of a long-standing liver disease (such as biliary atresia, hepatitis, metabolic liver disease)

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Liver Failure?

How is Pediatric Liver Failure diagnosed?

The following are tests that are used to diagnose acute liver failure. Your child’s doctor may use a combination of these tests:

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • CT scan
  • Liver biopsy (tissue sample)
  • Liver and other blood tests
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound

What are the causes of Pediatric Liver Failure?

The most common cause of acute liver failure in children is taking too much of the drug acetaminophen (Tylenol®), either all at once or over a period of time. Infections, certain metabolic diseases, viruses, hepatitis, and heart disease can also cause acute liver failure in children.

How is Pediatric Liver Failure treated?

The following are customary treatment methods for acute liver failure. Your child’s doctor may use a combination of these methods:

  • Medications to counteract the effects of acetaminophen
  • Treatment of the condition that caused the acute liver failure
  • Liver transplant

Innovative care

Ranked by U.S. News and World Report magazine as one of the top programs of its type in the nation, Children’s Health routinely delivers world-class care to over 1,000 patients per month, including children from surrounding communities who travel to visit us.

Our division has the resources to provide a diversity of specialists to diagnose and treat digestive and nutritional conditions in infants, children and adolescents from every possible angle. Although we are one of the largest pediatric gastroenterology programs in the country, we deliver personalized care to our patients before, during and after treatment so that you and your child will never feel overwhelmed.

We pride ourselves not only on being a leader in treatment and care, but also on being at the forefront of research into new treatments for gastrointestinal conditions in infants, children and adolescents. The internationally recognized Hepatology and Liver Transplantation Program at Children’s Health produces research and conducts clinical studies into acute liver failure, viral hepatitis and chronic liver diseases.

Pediatric Liver Failure Doctors and Providers


For more information about acute liver failure, refer to the following resources: