Long-term Prognosis of Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Survivors

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We aimed to investigate significant factors influencing the long-term prognosis of patients who survived acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).


The mortality of ACLF is predominantly affected by the organ failure severity. However, long-term outcomes of patients who survive ACLF are not known.


A cohort of 1084 cirrhotic patients who survived for more than 3 months following acute deterioration of liver function was prospectively followed. ACLF was defined by the European Association for the Study of the Liver Chronic Liver Failure Consortium definition.


The mean follow-up duration was 19.4±9.9 months. In the subgroup of patients without previous acute decompensation (AD), ACLF occurrence did not affect long-term outcomes. However, in patients with previous AD, ACLF negatively affected long-term transplant-free survival even after overcoming ACLF (hazard ratio, 2.00, P=0.012). Previous AD was the significant predictive factor of long-term mortality and was independent of the Model for End-stage Liver Disease score in these ACLF-surviving patients. Organ failure severity did not affect transplant-free survival in patients who survived an ACLF episode.


A prior history of AD is the most important factor affecting long-term outcomes following an ACLF episode regardless of Model for End-stage Liver Disease score. Prevention of a first AD episode may improve the long-term transplant-free survival of liver cirrhosis patients.

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