Garg H, Kumar A, Garg V, Sharma P, Sharma BC, Sarin SK.
Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Feb;44(2):166-71. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2011.08.029. Epub 2011 Oct 5.
Department of Gastroenterology, GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is characterised by acute hepatic insult manifesting as jaundice and coagulopathy, complicated within 4 weeks by ascites and/or encephalopathy in patients with previously diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic liver disease. We studied the clinical, biochemical and etiological profiles of ACLF patients investigating variables which could predict mortality.
Consecutive ACLF patients were enrolled and given standard intensive care management. They were monitored for predictors of 90-day mortality.
91 patients were included; besides jaundice (median bilirubin 23.1mg/dL) and coagulopathy, acute onset ascites with or without encephalopathy was the presenting symptom in 92%. In all patients a first diagnosis of chronic liver disease was made, mainly due to hepatitis B (37%) or alcohol (34%). Reactivation of chronic hepatitis B and alcoholic hepatitis were the common acute insults. The 90-day mortality was 63%. On multivariate analysis, hepatic encephalopathy, low serum sodium, and high INR were found to be independent baseline predictors of mortality. Amongst all severity scores studied, MELD, SOFA and APACHE-II scores had AUROCs of >0.8 which was significantly higher than that of Child-Turcotte-Pugh.
ACLF has very high mortality. Hepatic encephalopathy, low serum sodium and high INR predict poor outcome. Mortality can also be predicted by baseline MELD, SOFA or APACHE-II scores.
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