Prognostic scores for cirrhotic patients admitted to an intensive care unit: which consequences for liver transplantation?

Arnaud Galbois, Vincent Das, Nicolas Carbonell, Bertrand Guidet
Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology 2013, 37 (5): 455-66
Mortality is increased in cirrhotic patients admitted in ICU whatever the admission reason. Prognosis scores assessed in critically ill cirrhotic patients in ICU can be classified in three main categories: liver-specific (CTP and MELD) scores, general (SAPS II and APACHE) scores, and organ failure (OSF and SOFA) scores. The components of the liver-specific scores can be influenced by the acute disease indicating the admission to ICU but those of the non liver-specific scores can be influenced by the underlying liver cirrhosis. Many studies reported that organ failure scores are the best predictors of outcome in cirrhotic patients in ICU. We may wonder if cirrhotic patients with acute organ failures should receive prioritization for organ allocation to save their life or should be denied for a potential futile LT. According to recent studies, the SOFA score is associated with a higher risk of death for patients waiting for LT but could not be associated with a worse outcome after LT. It becomes of paramount importance to correctly identify the cirrhotic patients who will maximally benefit from LT after admission to ICU. The EASL-CLIF Consortium defines the CLIF-SOFA score, redefining the SOFA score with cut-off levels based on mortality prediction. The CLIF-SOFA could represent the ideal score in ICU since it is based on organ failures with cut-off values specifically identified in cirrhotic patients. The validation of the CLIF-SOFA score in critically ill cirrhotic patients admitted to ICU and its usefulness to identify patients who could benefit from LT should be the next steps.

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