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Prevalence, Severity, and Impact of Renal Dysfunction in Acute Liver Failure on the US Liver Transplant Waiting List

Nathalie H Urrunaga, Laurence S Magder, Matthew R Weir, Don C Rockey, Ayse L Mindikoglu
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 2016, 61 (1): 309-16

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although renal dysfunction is a known complication of acute liver failure (ALF), its frequency, severity, and impact among patients with ALF on the US liver transplant list are not well defined.

METHODS: Organ Procurement and Transplantation data for ALF patients listed as status 1/1A from 2002 to 2012 were analyzed. The frequency and severity of renal dysfunction at the time of listing [the latter was categorized in 5 stages using estimated GFR (eGFR) according to Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration creatinine 2009 equation] were determined and the association between renal dysfunction and waiting list mortality was assessed using Cox proportional hazard regression analysis.

RESULTS: There were a total of 2280 adult patients with ALF, including 56 % with renal dysfunction (defined as eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2)) at listing. The highest proportion of patients with renal dysfunction was among those with ALF caused by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome, fatty liver disease of pregnancy, heat stroke/hyperthermia, hepatitis A virus, and drug-induced liver injury due to acetaminophen APAP, phenytoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and macrolides. Despite the fact that 69 % (468/674) of patients with APAP-induced ALF listed as status 1/1A had renal dysfunction, only 0.9 % underwent simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation. Six-week survival probabilities in patients with ALF on the liver transplant waiting list were 71, 59, 56, 59, and 42 % with renal dysfunction stages of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that after controlling for age, etiology of ALF, INR, total bilirubin, and region, the relative risk of death increased progressively as eGFR declined (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with ALF on the liver transplant waiting list, renal dysfunction was common (overall prevalence of 56 %). Most importantly, severe renal dysfunction was associated with significantly increased mortality.


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