Granulocytapheresis and plasma exchange for severe alcoholic hepatitis

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Mar;27 Suppl 2:99-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2011.07005.x.


Background and aim: Severe alcoholic hepatitis (SAH) is an inflammatory response with multiple morbidity factors like leucocytosis, hepatomegaly, renal failure, hepatic encephalopathy, endotoxemia, and a high mortality rate. Identifying therapeutic interventions that can improve prognosis is the goal of research.

Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 1234 medical institutions asking for information on patients with SAH during 2004 to 2008, including patients' demography, disease profile and the therapeutic interventions patients had received during hospitalization.

Results: Forty-five hospitals had treated SAH patients, and provided full demographic data on 98 patients. Forty-eight patients had received no treatment, 12 patients had received granulocytes/monocytes apheresis (GMA) to deplete elevated myeloid lineage leucocytes, the rest had received one or more of the following treatments, corticosteroids, plasma exchange (PE) and hemodialysis (HD). Further, 38 patients had died and 60 had survived within 100 days of hospitalization. Serum creatinine (Cr) was higher in patients who had died versus patients who had survived (P = 0.001). Likewise, patients with white blood cells (WBC) ≥ 10(4)/µL had higher mortality rate versus patients with WBC < 10(4)/µL (P = 0.018). GMA in patients with WBC ≥ 10(4)/µL showed improved prognosis versus in patients with WBC ≥ 10(4)/µL who did not receive GMA (P = 0.0006). Corticosteroids, plasma exchange and HD did not significantly impact prognosis of SAH patients.

Conclusions: Our perception is that, patients with elevated myeloid leucocytes benefit most from GMA, while plasma exchange appears to support patients with coagulation deficiency or high plasma bilirubin and HD has indication in patients with high Cr.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Granulocytes / immunology*
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / blood
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukapheresis / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Plasma Exchange* / adverse effects
  • Plasma Exchange* / mortality
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult