Risk factors, sequential organ failure assessment and model for end-stage liver disease scores for predicting short term mortality in cirrhotic patients admitted to intensive care unit

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Apr 1;23(7):883-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.02842.x.


Background: Prognostic scores in an intensive care unit (ICU) evaluate outcomes, but derive from cohorts containing few cirrhotic patients.

Aims: To evaluate 6-week mortality in cirrhotic patients admitted to an ICU, and to compare general and liver-specific prognostic scores.

Methods: A total of 312 consecutive cirrhotic patients (65% alcoholic; mean age 49.6 years). Multivariable logistic regression to evaluate admission factors associated with survival. Child-Pugh, Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores were compared by receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results: Major indication for admission was respiratory failure (35.6%). Median (range) Child-Pugh, APACHE II, MELD and SOFA scores were 11 (5-15), 18 (0-44), 24 (6-40) and 11 (0-21), respectively; 65% (n = 203) died. Survival improved over time (P = 0.005). Multivariate model factors: more organs failing (FOS) (<3 = 49.5%, > or =3 = 90%), higher FiO(2), lactate, urea and bilirubin; resulting in good discrimination [area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.83], similar to SOFA and MELD (AUC = 0.83 and 0.81, respectively) and superior to APACHE II and Child-Pugh (AUC = 0.78 and 0.72, respectively).

Conclusions: Cirrhotics admitted to ICU with > or =3 failing organ systems have 90% mortality. The Royal Free model discriminated well and contained key variables of organ function. SOFA and MELD were better predictors than APACHE II or Child-Pugh scores.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / complications
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / therapy
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / therapy
  • Liver Failure / mortality
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / complications
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index