People need a liver transplant when their liver fails due to disease or injury.

For adults, the most common reasons for needing a liver transplant in 2016 were

Biliary atresia is the most common reason children need a liver transplant.

Doctors may consider a liver transplant to treat rare disorders such as urea cycle disorders  and familial hypercholesterolemia .

People may also need a liver transplant due to acute liver failure. Acute liver failure is an uncommon condition most often caused by taking too much acetaminophen . Other causes of acute liver failure include bad reactions to prescription medicines, illegal drugs, and herbal medicines.