Gingko biloba (GB) has antioxidant and platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonistic effects. We investigated the protective effects of GB on thioacetamide (TAA)induced fulminant hepatic failure in rats. Fulminant hepatic failure was induced in treatment groups by three intraperitoneal (ip) injections of TAA (350 mg/kg) at 24hour intervals. Treatments with GB (100 mg/kg per day, orally) and N-acetylcysteine (20 mg/kg twice daily, sc) were initiated 48 hours prior to TAA administration. The liver was removed for histopathological examinations. Serum and liver thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) levels were measured for assessment of oxidative stress. Liver necrosis and inflammation scores and serum and liver TBARS levels were significantly higher in the TAA group compared to the control group (P < 0.001, < 0.001, 0.001, < 0.001, respectively). Liver necrosis and inflammation scores and liver TBARS levels were significantly lower in the GB group compared to the TAA group (P < 0.001, < 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). GB ameliorated hepatic damage in TAA-induced fulminant hepatic failure. This may be due to the free radical-scavenging effects of GB.