Characterization of acute-on-chronic liver failure and prediction of mortality in Asian patients with active alcoholism

Hwi Young Kim, Young Chang, Jae Yong Park, Hongkeun Ahn, Hyeki Cho, Seung Jun Han, Sohee Oh, Donghee Kim, Yong Jin Jung, Byeong Gwan Kim, Kook Lae Lee, Won Kim
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2016, 31 (2): 427-33

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcoholic liver diseases often evolve to acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), which increases the risk of (multi-)organ failure and death. We investigated the development and characteristics of alcohol-related ACLF and evaluated prognostic scores for prediction of mortality in Asian patients with active alcoholism.

METHODS: A total of 205 patients who were hospitalized with severe alcoholic liver disease were included in this retrospective cohort study, after excluding those with serious cardiovascular diseases, malignancy, or co-existing viral hepatitis. The Chronic Liver Failure (CLIF) Consortium Organ Failure score was used in the diagnosis and grading of ACLF, and the CLIF Consortium ACLF score (CLIF-C ACLFs) was used to predict mortality.

RESULTS: Patients with ACLF had higher Maddrey discriminant function, model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), and MELD-sodium scores than those without ACLF. Infections were more frequently documented in patients with ACLF (33.3% vs 53.0%; P = 0.004). Predictive factors for ACLF development were systemic inflammatory response syndrome (odds ratio [OR], 2.239; P < 0.001), serum sodium level (OR, 0.939; P = 0.029), and neutrophil count (OR, 1.000; P = 0.021). For prediction of mortality at predefined time points (28-day and 90-day) in patients with ACLF, areas under the receiver-operating characteristic were significantly greater for the CLIF-C ACLFs than for Child-Pugh, MELD, and MELD-sodium scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Infection and systemic inflammatory response syndrome play an important role in the development of alcohol-related ACLF in Asian patients with active alcoholism. The CLIF-C ACLFs may be more useful for predicting mortality in ACLF cases than liver-specific scoring systems.

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