In trial of 173 enrolled patients with acute liver failure (not attributed to acetaminophen), they were randomized to placebo or IV N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Although overall survival at 3 weeks was similar between the groups, transplant free survival was significantly higher at 1 year in the NAC group (40% vs 27%), although the benefit was found only in patients with mild encephalopathy (abstract). NAC is beneficial in patients with early stage, non-acetaminophen liver failure.
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.