Joint senior authors
Liver Failure/Cirrhosis/Portal Hypertension
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 57, Issue 3, pages 1142–1152, March 2013
How to Cite
Taylor, N. J., Nishtala, A., Manakkat Vijay, G. K., Abeles, R. D., Auzinger, G., Bernal, W., Ma, Y., Wendon, J. A. and Shawcross, D. L. (2013), Circulating neutrophil dysfunction in acute liver failure. Hepatology, 57: 1142–1152. doi: 10.1002/hep.26102
Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
Supported by a Young Investigator Grant awarded to Dr. D.L Shawcross and Professor J.A Wendon from the Intensive Care Society in 2008. Additional laboratory consumables were also funded from the Institute of Liver Studies Liver Intensive Care Charitable Fund. Dr. D.L. Shawcross is funded by a 5-year Department of Health HEFCE Clinical Senior Lectureship and Dr. R.D. Abeles holds a Department of Health NIHR Clinical Research PhD Fellowship.
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2013
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 OCT 2012 12:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAY 2012
Systemic inflammation and susceptibility to developing sepsis is common in acute liver failure (ALF) resulting in tissue damage and organ failure. This study characterized the function of circulating neutrophils in 25 patients with ALF and subacute liver failure (SALF). ALF (n = 15) / SALF (n = 10) patients were prospectively studied and compared with 11 healthy (HC) and 6 septic controls (SC). Neutrophils were isolated on admission to intensive care and every 3-4 days until death / liver transplantation / recovery. Neutrophil phenotype was determined using fluorochrome-labeled antibodies to CD16 and CD11b and assessed by flow cytometry. Neutrophil phagocytic activity (NPA) was determined using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled opsonized Escherichia coli and oxidative burst (OB) was determined by the percentage of neutrophils producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) at rest and after stimulation with opsonized E. coli. Physiological variables, biochemistry, arterial ammonia, microbiology, and outcomes were collected. Plasma pro- and antiinflammatory cytokine profiles were performed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neutrophil expression of CD16 which recognizes the FcγRIII region of immunoglobulin G was significantly reduced in the ALF cohort (P < 0.001) on day 1 compared to HC. NPA was significantly impaired in the SALF cohort compared to HC (P < 0.01). Impaired NPA in the ALF and SALF cohorts on admission predicted nonsurvival without liver transplantation (P = 0.01). Spontaneous neutrophil production of ROS was not significantly increased in any of the cohorts. E. coli-stimulated OB was preserved in ALF/SALF cohorts but was significantly impaired in the SC group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Circulating neutrophils in ALF/SALF have impaired bacteriocidal function similar to that seen in severe sepsis. Neutrophil function indices are important biomarkers in ALF and may be implicated in the development of organ dysfunction and the increased susceptibility to developing sepsis. (HEPATOLOGY 2013)