Outcome and prognostic markers in severe drug-induced liver disease

Einar Björnsson, Rolf Olsson
Hepatology: Official Journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2005, 42 (2): 481-9
The combination of high aminotransferases (hepatocellular injury) and jaundice has been reported to lead to a mortality rate of 10% to 50% for different drugs, a phenomenon known as "Hy's rule." However, Hy's rule has never been validated, and limited data exist on predictors for outcome in hepatocellular and other forms of drug-induced liver disease. All reports of suspected hepatic adverse drug reactions received by the Swedish Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee (1970-2004) were reviewed. Cases with bilirubin levels 2 or more times the upper limit of normal (ULN) were analyzed. A total of 784 cases were retrieved-409 with hepatocellular injury, 206 with cholestatic injury, and 169 with mixed liver injury. The mortality/transplantation rate was 9.2%, and bilirubin (median 18.7 x ULN [IQR 12.6-25]; range 4.5-42) was higher (P < .0001) in the deceased/transplant recipients compared with the surviving patients (median 5.5 x ULN [IQR 3.3-9.5]; range 2.0-38). A total of 7.8% with cholestatic and 2.4% with a mixed pattern died. The mortality rate in hepatocellular injury for different drugs varied from 40% (6 of 15) for halothane to 0% (0 of 32) for erythromycin, in total 12.7%. Using logistic regression analysis, age, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and bilirubin were found to independently predict death or liver transplantation in the hepatocellular group, whereas among patients with cholestatic/mixed liver injury, bilirubin was the only independent predictor. In conclusion, hepatocellular jaundice has a high but variable mortality rate, depending on the drug involved. The AST and bilirubin levels are the most important predictors of death or liver transplantation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.