Predictors of clinical outcomes in cirrhosis patients

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review aims to explain the different systems available to clinicians for predicting clinical outcomes in patients with cirrhosis.

Recent findings

Cirrhosis is the final stage of chronic liver disease and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The most commonly utilized tools to predict outcomes in patients with cirrhosis include the following: assessing severity of portal hypertension using hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements, using scoring systems such as the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Child–Pugh–Turcotte (CPT) scores, and recently, clinical staging systems based on cirrhosis-related clinical complications. Assessing portal pressure with HVPG measurements provides valuable prognostic information, yet is costly, time-consuming, and invasive. MELD and CPT scores can be calculated quickly and not only assess liver function, but also yield predictive information. However, they represent only one point in time, and do not take into account the full clinical picture. Clinical staging systems have traditionally been focused on compensated and decompensated stages, with newer models assessing the influence of cirrhosis-related complications. However, these are not commonly utilized.

Summary

Predicting clinical outcomes in patients with cirrhosis is challenging, and is likely best accomplished with a combination of objective data (such as MELD and HVPG provide) in addition to the clinical course of cirrhosis.

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