Acute-on-chronic liver failure: Objective admission and support criteria in the intensive care unit.
ABSTRACT: Cirrhosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Significant complications include variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal syndrome, and infection. When these complications are severe, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) is often required for organ support and management. Intensive care therapy can also serve as a bridge to liver transplantation. Along with decompensation of cirrhosis, the concept of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) has emerged. This involves an acute precipitating event, such as the development of infection in a patient with cirrhosis, which leads to acute deterioration of hepatic function and extrahepatic organ failure. Extrahepatic complications often include renal, cardiovascular, and respiratory failures. Patients with significant extrahepatic and hepatic failures need ICU admission for organ support. Again, in patients who are deemed suitable liver transplant candidates, intensive care management may allow bridging to liver transplantation. However, patients with a Chronic Liver Failure Consortium ACLF score greater than 70 at 48 to 72 hours post-ICU admission do not seem to benefit from ongoing intensive support and a palliative approach may be more appropriate.
Project description:The term acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) defines an abrupt and life-threatening worsening of clinical conditions in patients with cirrhosis or chronic liver disease. In recent years, different definitions and diagnostic criteria for the syndrome have been proposed by the major international scientific societies. The main controversies relate to the type of acute insult (specifically hepatic or also extrahepatic), the stage of underlying liver disease (cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis) and the concomitant extrahepatic organ failure(s) that should be considered in the definition of ACLF. Therefore, different severity criteria and prognostic scores have been proposed and validated. Current evidence shows that the pathophysiology of ACLF is closely associated with an intense systemic inflammation sustained by circulating pathogen-associated molecular patterns and damage-associated molecular patterns. The development of organ failures may be a result of a combination of tissue hypoperfusion, direct immune-mediated damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. Management of ACLF is currently based on the supportive treatment of organ failures, mainly in an intensive care setting. For selected patients, liver transplantation is an effective treatment that offers a good long-term prognosis. Future studies on potential mechanistic treatments that improve patient survival are eagerly awaited.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a severe complication of cirrhosis and is defined by organ failure and high rates of short-term mortality. Patients with ACLF are managed with multiorgan support in the intensive care unit (ICU). Currently, it is unclear when this supportive care becomes futile, particularly in patients who are not candidates for liver transplant. The aim of this study was to determine whether the currently available prognostic scores can identify patients with ACLF in whom prolonged ICU care is likely to be futile despite maximal treatment efforts. METHODS:Data of 202 consecutive patients with ACLF admitted to the ICU at the Royal Free Hospital London between 2005 and 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. Prognostic scores for chronic liver diseases, such as Child-Pugh, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), European Foundation for the study of chronic liver failure (CLIF-C) organ failure (OF), and CLIF-C ACLF, were calculated 48 hours after ICU admission and correlated with patient outcome after 28 days. RESULTS:The CLIF-C ACLF score, compared with all other scores, most accurately predicted 28-day mortality, with an area under the receiver operator characteristic of 0.8 (CLIF-C OF, 0.75; MELD, 0.68; Child-Pugh, 0.66). A CLIF-C ACLF score cutoff ??70 identified patients with a 100% mortality within 28 days. These patients had elevated inflammatory parameters representing a systemic inflammatory response, most often renal failure, compared with patients below this cutoff. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with ACLF and high CLIF-C ACLF score (??70) after 48 hours of intensive care may reach a threshold of futility for further ongoing intensive support. The best treatment options in this scenario remain to be determined but may include palliative care.
Project description:Limited data is available on long-term outcome predictions for patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Assessing the reliability and accuracy of several mortality prediction models for these patients is helpful. Two hundred forty-nine consecutive patients with ACLF and admittance to the liver ICU in a single center in northern Taiwan between December 2012 and March 2015 were enrolled in the study and were tracked until February 2017. Ninety-one patients had chronic hepatitis B-related cirrhosis. Clinical features and laboratory data were collected at or within 24 h of the first ICU admission course. Eight commonly used clinical scores in chronic liver disease were calculated. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) III and chronic liver failure consortium (CLIF-C) ACLF scores were significantly superior to other models in predicting overall mortality as determined by time-dependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (area under the ROC curve (AUROC): 0.817). Subgroup analysis of patients with chronic hepatitis B-related cirrhosis displayed similar results. CLIF-C organ function (OF), CLIF-C ACLF, and APACHE III scores were statistically superior to the mortality probability model III at zero hours (MPM0-III) and the simplified acute physiology (SAP) III scores in predicting 28-day mortality. In conclusion, for 28-day and overall mortality prediction of patients with ACLF admitted to the ICU, APACHE III, CLIF-OF, and CLIF-C ACLF scores might outperform other models. Further prospective study is warranted.
Project description:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a recently (re)defined syndrome of acute decompensation of cirrhosis that presents with extrahepatic organ failure(s) and poor outcome. Given the prominent role of inflammation and activation of coagulation in ACLF, we hypothesized that ACLF might be characterized by the generation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), that could drive both activation of coagulation and progression of organ failure. Methods:We measured markers of circulating DNA, activation of coagulation, inflammation, and oxidative stress in 52 patients with acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis and 57 patients with ACLF on admission, and compared levels with 40 healthy controls. Results:All analytes were higher in patients compared to controls. Plasma levels of cell-free DNA, but not of the specific NET marker myeloperoxidase-DNA complexes were higher in patients with ACLF compared to AD cirrhosis. In addition, TAT complexes (coagulation), IL-6 (inflammation), and TBARS (oxidative stress) were higher in ACLF compared to AD. Markers for activation of coagulation were not associated with circulating DNA, IL-6, or TBARS. In contrast, levels of circulating DNA, IL-6, and TBARS were higher in patients with more severe disease, higher in patients with organ failure, and higher in patients that died within 30 days of admission. Importantly, myeloperoxidase-DNA levels did not differ between patients with complications and poor outcome. Conclusions:Collectively, we show that cell-free DNA, inflammation, and oxidative stress are associated with outcomes in AD and ACLF, but not with activation of coagulation. Our data argue against a role of NETs in activation of coagulation and in progression of organ failure in patients with AD and ACLF. Lay summary:Acute-on-chronic liver failure is a devastating syndrome that can follow acute decompensation of chronic liver disease. Herein, we demonstrate that these patients accumulate DNA released from dying cells in their blood, and that the quantity of this DNA is related to the outcome of disease. We also show that outcome of disease is not related to recently described neutrophil extracellular traps, which have been shown in animal models to play vital roles in the progression of liver diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) precipitated by hepatic injury and extrahepatic insults had distinct clinical phenotypes, and prognosis. This study aimed to validate prognostic models for ACLF and to explore their discriminative abilities in ACLF population categorized by the etiologies of precipitating events. METHODS:This study collected data from 343 consecutive cirrhotic patients hospitalized with the diagnosis of ACLF according to the EASL-CLIF-Consortium definition. The discrimination abilities of prognostic models at the onset of ACLF were tested with the concordance index and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. RESULTS:Among the entire cohort, 103 patients survived with medical management, nine patients were transplanted, and 231 patients died without liver transplantation. The predictive accuracy of the Chronic Liver Failure-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (CLIF-SOFA) for 28-day mortality was similar to the CLIF Consortium Organ Failure (CLIF-C OF) but significantly higher than the CLIF Consortium ACLF, the Child-Turcotte-Pugh, the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), the MELD-sodium, the integrated MELD, and the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II. Of note, 44 patients had acute hepatic insult triggering ACLF (hepatic-ACLF), 244 were exclusively precipitated by bacterial infection or gastrointestinal bleeding (extrahepatic-ACLF), and 55 cases had no any identifiable potential precipitating events. Patients with hepatic-ACLF had significantly higher 28-day mortality than extrahepatic-ACLF patients. The CLIF-SOFA and CLIF-C OF displayed the highest accuracy significantly outperforming other scoring systems in predicting mortality among patients with hepatic-ACLF and those with extrahepatic-ACLF. CONCLUSION:The CLIF-SOFA and simpler CLIF-C OF are reliable measures of mortality risk in ACLF patients precipitated by either hepatic or extrahepatic insults. Both validated models could be used to stratify the risk of death and improve management of ACLF.
Project description:Decompensated cirrhosis predisposes to infectious diseases and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in critically ill patients. Infections like spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) are frequently associated with multi-organ failure and increased mortality. Consequently, reliable predictors of outcome and early diagnostic markers of infection are needed to improve individualized therapy. This study evaluates the prognostic role of ascitic interleukin 6 in 64 patients with cirrhosis admitted to our intensive care unit (ICU). In addition, we analysed the diagnostic ability of ascitic interleukin 6 in a subgroup of 19 patients with SBP. Baseline ascitic interleukin 6 performed well in predicting 3-month mortality in patients with decompensated cirrhosis (area under curve (AUC) = 0.802), as well as in patients fulfilling ACLF-criteria (AUC = 0.807). Ascitic interleukin 6 showed a moderate prognostic advantage compared with common clinical scores and proinflammatory parameters. Moreover, ascitic interleukin 6 had a sufficient diagnostic ability to detect SBP (AUC = 0.901) and was well correlated with ascitic polymorphonuclear neutrophils in SBP (p = 0.002). Interestingly, ascitic interleukin 6 revealed a high predictive value to rule out apparent infections on admission to ICU (AUC = 0.904) and to identify patients with "culture-positive SBP" (AUC = 0.856). Ascitic interleukin 6 is an easily-applicable proinflammatory biomarker with high prognostic and diagnostic relevance in critically ill patients with liver cirrhosis.
Project description:<h4>Background & aims</h4>MicroRNAs (miRNAs) circulate in several body fluids and can be useful biomarkers. The aim of this study was to identify blood-circulating miRNAs associated with cirrhosis progression and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).<h4>Methods</h4>Using high-throughput screening of 754 miRNAs, serum samples from 45 patients with compensated cirrhosis, decompensated cirrhosis, or ACLF were compared with those from healthy individuals (n = 15). miRNA levels were correlated with clinical parameters, organ failure, and disease progression and outcome. Dysregulated miRNAs were evaluated in portal and hepatic vein samples (n = 33), liver tissues (n = 17), and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) (n = 16).<h4>Results</h4>miRNA screening analysis revealed that circulating miRNAs are dysregulated in cirrhosis progression, with 51 miRNAs being differentially expressed among all groups of patients. Unsupervised clustering and principal component analysis indicated that the main differences in miRNA expression occurred at decompensation, showing similar levels in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and those with ACLF. Of 43 selected miRNAs examined for differences among groups, 10 were differentially expressed according to disease progression. Moreover, 20 circulating miRNAs were correlated with model for end-stage liver disease and Child-Pugh scores. Notably, 11 dysregulated miRNAs were associated with kidney or liver failure, encephalopathy, bacterial infection, and poor outcomes. The most severely dysregulated miRNAs (<i>i.e.</i> miR-146a-5p, miR-26a-5p, and miR-191-5p) were further evaluated in portal and hepatic vein blood and liver tissue, but showed no differences. However, PBMCs from patients with cirrhosis showed significant downregulation of miR-26 and miR-146a, suggesting a extrahepatic origin of some circulating miRNAs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study is a repository of circulating miRNA data following cirrhosis progression and ACLF. Circulating miRNAs were profoundly dysregulated during the progression of chronic liver disease, were associated with failure of several organs and could have prognostic utility.<h4>Lay summary</h4>Circulating miRNAs are small molecules in the blood that can be used to identify or predict a clinical condition. Our study aimed to identify miRNAs for use as biomarkers in patients with cirrhosis or acute-on-chronic liver failure. Several miRNAs were found to be dysregulated during the progression of disease, and some were also related to organ failure and disease-related outcomes.
Project description:Background and Aim:The effect of elevated ammonia on organ failures (OF), apart from hepatic encephalopathy, in patients with acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is unclear. We aimed to assess the effect of persistent or incident hyperammonemia on OF and outcomes in patients with AD and ACLF. Methods:A total of 229 patients with ACLF and 83 with AD were included. Arterial ammonia was measured on day 1 and day 3 of admission. Persistent or incident hyperammonemia was defined as a level of ?79.5 ?mol/L on day 3. The changes in ammonia levels during the first 3?days were analyzed with respect to the complications and outcomes. Results:At admission, the median level of arterial ammonia was higher in ACLF compared to AD patients (103 vs 86??mol/L, P?<?0.001). Persistent or incident hyperammonemia was noted in 206 (66.0%) patients and was more frequent in ACLF compared to AD patients (70.7 vs 53.0%, P = 0.013). Patients with persistent or incident hyperammonemia, compared to those without it, developed a higher proportion of new-onset OF during hospitalization involving liver (P = 0.018), kidney (P = 0.001), brain (P = 0.005), coagulation (P = 0.036), circulation (P = 0.002), and respiratory (P = 0.003) issues and had higher 28-day mortality (log-rank test, P?<?0.001). After adjustment for chronic liver failure consortium ACLF score, persistent or incident hyperammonemia (hazard ratio, 3.174) was independently associated with 28-day mortality. The presence of infection was an independent predictor of persistent or incident hyperammonemia. Conclusion:Persistent or incident hyperammonemia during first 3?days of hospitalization in patients with AD or ACLF is associated with increased risk of OF and death.
Project description:BACKGROUND In the intensive care unit (ICU), critically ill patients with cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) continue to have high mortality rates. The AARC ACLF score is a simple, newly-developed score based on Asian ACLF patients, which performs well in prognosis. The present study attempted to verify the prognostic ability of AARC ACLF in non-Asian critically ill patients with cirrhosis and ACLF. MATERIAL AND METHODS We enrolled 786 patients. Relevant clinical data were collected within 24 h after admission to compare the differences between survivors and non-survivors, and all the patients were followed up for at least 180 days. RESULTS The 28-day, 90-day, and 180-day mortality rates were 28.9% (227/786), 36.4% (286/786), and 40.3% (317/786), respectively. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that AARC ACLF score (HR: 1.375, 95% CI: 1.247-1.516, P<0.001) was an independent predictive factor of 28-day mortality, and the AUROC of the predictive ability in 28-day mortality of the AARC ACLF score was 0.754. In addition, the AARC ACLF score was regraded into 3 classes (low risk: AARC ACLF <9, intermediate risk: 9? AARC ACLF <12, and high risk: AARC ACLF ?12). The AARC ACLF score can be used for dynamic assessment by retest at days 4-7. CONCLUSIONS The AARC ACLF score has a good predictive value for 28-day, 90-day, and 180-day mortality in non-Asian critically ill patients with cirrhosis and ACLF, which is not inferior to CLIF-C ACLFsLact and other models. It is easy to use at bedside, and it is dynamic and reliable.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The impact of liver cirrhosis on the outcomes of admission to intensive care unit (ICU) is not completely understood. Our purpose is to identify risk factors for mortality in ICU patients with liver cirrhosis. METHODS:Using reimbursement claims from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from in 2006-2012, 1,250,300 patients were identified as having ICU stays of more than 1 day, and 37,197 of these had liver cirrhosis. With propensity score-matching for socioeconomic status, pre-existing medical conditions, and cirrhosis-related morbidities, 37,197 ICU patients without liver cirrhosis were selected for comparison. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of cirrhosis associated with 30-day, ICU, and one-year mortality were calculated. RESULTS:Compared with control, cirrhotic patients had higher 30-day mortality (aOR 1.60, 95% CI 1.53 to 1.68), particularly those with jaundice (aOR 2.23, 95% CI 2.03 to 2.45), ascites (aOR 2.32, 95% CI 2.19 to 2.46) or hepatic coma (aOR 2.21, 95% CI 2.07 to 2.36). Among ICU patients, liver cirrhosis was also associated with ICU mortality (aOR 144, 95% CI 1.38 to 1.51) and one-year mortality (aOR 1.40, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.46). Associations between cirrhosis of liver and increased 30-day mortality were significant in both sexes and every age group. CONCLUSIONS:Liver cirrhosis was associated with 30-day mortality in ICU patients. Jaundice, ascites, hepatic coma, more than 4 admissions due to cirrhosis, and more than 30?days of hospital stay due to cirrhosis were exacerbated factors in cirrhotic ICU patients.