Long-term outcomes of cirrhosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis compared with hepatitis C

Hepatology. 2003 Aug;38(2):420-7. doi: 10.1053/jhep.2003.50320.


Data on the long-term outcome of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-associated cirrhosis are few, and most reports describe cases of cryptogenic cirrhosis associated with risk factors for NASH but without histologic definition. In this prospective cohort study, we describe the long-term morbidity and mortality of 23 patients with NASH-associated cirrhosis defined by strict clinicopathologic criteria. Outcomes were compared with 46 age- and gender-matched patients with cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection: 23 untreated and 23 nonresponders to antiviral therapy. During follow-up (mean, 84 months; median, 60 months; range, 5-177 months), 9 of the 23 NASH-associated cirrhosis cases developed liver-related morbidity (8 ascites and/or encephalopathy, 1 variceal bleeding). The probability of complication-free survival was 83%, 77%, and 48% at 1, 3, and 10 years, respectively, and the cumulative probability of overall survival was 95%, 90%, and 84% at 1, 3, and 10 years, respectively. Five deaths were from liver failure, 1 from a non-liver-related cause. By multivariate analysis, bilirubin (P =.02) and platelet (P =.04) were independent predictors of complication-free survival; bilirubin (P =.05) was the only predictor for overall survival. After controlling for these factors, there was no difference in complication-free or overall survival between the NASH-cirrhosis cohort and either group of HCV-cirrhosis. However, 8 cases of liver cancer occurred in the HCV-cirrhosis groups compared with none among NASH cases. In conclusion, liver failure is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in NASH-associated cirrhosis. The prognosis is either similar or less severe than HCV-cirrhosis, except that HCC appears less common.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Fatty Liver / mortality*
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / mortality*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antiviral Agents