Increased delayed mortality in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure who have prior decompensation

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Abstract

Background and Aim:

Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) represent a complex population with differential prognosis. The aim of the study was to categorize ACLF according to the severity of underlying chronic liver diseases.

Methods:

A total of 540 ACLF patients were recruited, including 127 with prior decompensated cirrhosis and 413 without prior decompensation (PD) including 193 with underlying chronic hepatitis and 220 with prior compensated cirrhosis. The clinical characteristics and prognosis of subgroups were compared. Cox proportional hazard model and multinominal logistic regression analysis were performed to identify significant prognostic parameters.

Results:

The 28-day, 3-month and 1-year survival of ACLF patients with or without PD were 58.9% versus 61.4%, 36.2 versus 52.5%, and 29.1% versus 49.6%, respectively. On multinominal logistic regression analysis or time-to-death analysis by Cox proportional hazard model, PD was significantly associated with post-28-day mortality but not within-28-day mortality. On multivariate time-to-death analysis, older age, high international normalized ratio (INR) and serum bilirubin, low levels of serum sodium and platelet count, and presence of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and respiratory or circulation dysfunction were predictors of within-28-day mortality in patients without PD, whereas the risk factors in patients with PD were high INR, creatinine, presence of HE, and respiratory or circulation dysfunction.

Conclusion:

ACLF patients with or without PD had comparable short-term prognosis but differential 1-year mortality. ACLF patients with PD were distinct from those without PD in age, types of acute insults, severity of hepatic damage, and distribution of complications, and the former group was characterized by increased delayed mortality.

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