The life expectancy of a patient with end-stage liver disease is bleak, from weeks to a few months. A liver transplant may be the only option for survival of some liver disease processes.
End-stage liver disease is a condition of the liver that is untreatable. According to the Liver Disease Archive, conditions such as cirrhosis, metastatic liver cancer, viral hepatitis and autoimmune disorders are some of the disease processes that can cause end-stage liver disease.
End-stage liver disease is considered terminal unless the patient receives a liver transplant. Hospice care is available when the patient's life expectancy is six months or less. Only your health care provider can give a prognosis based on specific laboratory and subjective criteria.
WebMD states that if the liver failure is acute, such as in an acetaminophen overdose, rapid intervention may allow the liver to recover. Other causes include ingestion of poisonous wild mushrooms and reactions to medications (see Resources).
According to the Mayo Clinic, about 6,000 liver transplants occur every year in the United States. Livers may come from deceased donors or a portion of a liver may be harvested from a living donor. The success rate for liver transplants is between 80 and 90 percent, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (see Resources).
According to the Liver Disease Archive, some patients may not be a candidate for a liver transplant; these patients will eventually die of end-stage liver disease.