Acute-on-chronic liver failure precipitated by hepatic injury is distinct from that precipitated by extrahepatic insults

Yu Shi, Ying Yang, Yaoren Hu, Wei Wu, Qiao Yang, Min Zheng, Shun Zhang, Zhaojun Xu, Yihua Wu, Huadong Yan, Zhi Chen
Hepatology: Official Journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2015, 62 (1): 232-42

UNLABELLED: Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) represent a heterogeneous population. The aim of the study is to identify distinct groups according to the etiologies of precipitating events. A total of 405 ACLF patients were identified from 1,361 patients with cirrhosis with acute decompensation and categorized according to the types of acute insults. Clinical characteristics and prognosis between the hepatic group and extrahepatic group were compared, and the performance of prognostic models was tested in different groups. Two distinct groups (hepatic-ACLF and extrahepatic-ACLF) were identified among the ACLF population. Hepatic-ACLF was precipitated by hepatic insults and had relatively well-compensated cirrhosis with frequent liver and coagulation failure. In contrast, extrahepatic-ACLF was exclusively precipitated by extrahepatic insults, characterized by more severe underlying cirrhosis and high occurrence of extrahepatic organ failures (kidney, cerebral, circulation, and respiratory systems). Both groups had comparably high short-term mortality (28-day transplant-free mortality: 48.3% vs. 50.7%; P = 0.22); however, the extra-hepatic-ACLF group had significantly higher 90-day and 1-year mortality (90-day: 58.9% vs. 68.3%, P = 0.035; 1-year: 63.9% vs. 74.6%, P = 0.019). In hepatic-ACLF group, the integrated Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (iMELD) score had the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (auROC = 0.787) among various prognostic models in predicting 28-day mortality, whereas CLIF-Consortium scores for ACLF patients (CLIF-C-ACLF) had the highest predictive value in the other group (auROC = 0.779).

CONCLUSIONS: ACLF precipitated by hepatic insults is distinct from ACLF precipitated by extrahepatic insults in clinical presentation and prognosis. The iMELD score may be a better predictor for hepatic-ACLF short-term prognosis, whereas CLIF-C-ACLF may be better for extrahepatic-ACLF patients.

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