Hyponatremia influences the outcome of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure: an analysis of the CANONIC study

Andrés Cárdenas, Elsa Solà, Ezequiel Rodríguez, Rogelio Barreto, Isabel Graupera, Marco Pavesi, Faouzi Saliba, Tania Mara Welzel, Javier Martinez-Gonzalez, Thierry Gustot, Mauro Bernardi, Vicente Arroyo, Pere Ginès
Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum 2014 December 13, 18 (6): 700

INTRODUCTION: Hyponatremia is a marker of poor prognosis in patients with cirrhosis. This analysis aimed to assess if hyponatremia also has prognostic value in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), a syndrome characterized by acute decompensation of cirrhosis, organ failure(s) and high short-term mortality.

METHODS: We performed an analysis of the Chronic Liver Failure Consortium CANONIC database in 1,341 consecutive patients admitted to 29 European centers with acute decompensation of cirrhosis (including ascites, gastrointestinal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, or bacterial infections, or any combination of these), both with and without associated ACLF (301 and 1,040 respectively).

RESULTS: Of the 301 patients with ACLF, 24.3% had hyponatremia at inclusion compared to 12.3% of 1,040 patients without ACLF (P <0.001). Model for end-stage liver disease, Child-Pugh and chronic liver failure-SOFA scores were significantly higher in patients with ACLF and hyponatremia compared to those without hyponatremia. The presence of hyponatremia (at inclusion or during hospitalization) was a predictive factor of survival both in patients with and without ACLF. The presence of hyponatremia and ACLF was found to have an independent effect on 90-day survival after adjusting for the potential confounders. Hyponatremia in non-ACLF patients nearly doubled the risk (hazard ratio (HR) 1.81 (1.33 to 2.47)) of dying at 90 days. However, when considering patients with both factors (ACLF and hyponatremia) the relative risk of dying at 90 days was significantly higher (HR 6.85 (3.85 to 12.19) than for patients without both factors. Patients with hyponatremia and ACLF had a three-month transplant-free survival of only 35.8% compared to 58.7% in those with ACLF without hyponatremia (P <0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of hyponatremia is an independent predictive factor of survival in patients with ACLF. In cirrhosis, outcome of patients with ACLF is dependent on its association with hyponatremia.

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