Serum sodium, model for end-stage liver disease, and a recent invasive procedure are risk factors for severe acute-on-chronic liver failure and death in cirrhotic patients hospitalized with bacterial infection

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Abstract

Introduction

Bacterial infection is present in up to 30% of hospitalized cirrhotic patients. It can lead, even after its resolution, to organ dysfunction and even acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). It is the precipitating factor of ACLF in one third of the cases and is the main cause of mortality in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and identify early risk factors for severe ACLF and death in hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis with bacterial infection.

Patients and methods

This was a prospective observational study. Hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis and bacterial infection were included. Clinical and laboratory data and their evolution to organ dysfunction and death were assessed. A statistical analysis were carried out to identify predictors of severe ACLF and in-hospital mortality.

Results

This study included 88 patients. ACLF was observed in 62 (70%) patients, with 48 (55%) grade 2 or higher. Of the 27 deaths (31% of all patients), 26 had severe ACLF (54% mortality) (P<0.0001). The independent risk factors for ACLF of at least 2 and death were baseline serum sodium [odds ratio (OR): 0.874; P=0.01, and OR: 0.9, P=0.04], initial MELD (OR: 1.255, P=0.0001, and OR: 1.162, P=0.005), and a recent invasive procedure (OR: 3.169, P=0.01, and OR: 6.648, P=0.003).

Conclusion

Lower serum sodium values, higher MELD scores at diagnosis of infection, and a recent history of invasive procedures were independent risk factors for severe ACLF and death in patients with cirrhosis and bacterial infection.

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