Background: Infections are a leading cause of death in patients with advanced cirrhosis, but there are relatively few data on the epidemiology of infection in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with cirrhosis.
Aims: We used data from the Extended Prevalence of Infection in Intensive Care (EPIC) II 1-day point-prevalence study to better define the characteristics of infection in these patients.
Methods: We compared characteristics, including occurrence and types of infections in non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients who had not undergone liver transplantation.
Results: The EPIC II database includes 13,796 adult patients from 1265 ICUs: 410 of the patients had cirrhosis. The prevalence of infection was higher in cirrhotic than in non-cirrhotic patients (59 vs. 51%, P < 0.01). The lungs were the most common site of infection in all patients, but abdominal infections were more common in cirrhotic than in non-cirrhotic patients (30 vs. 19%, P < 0.01). Infected cirrhotic patients more often had Gram-positive (56 vs. 47%, P < 0.05) isolates than did infected non-cirrhotic patients. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was more frequent in cirrhotic patients. The hospital mortality rate of cirrhotic patients was 42%, compared to 24% in the non-cirrhotic population (P < 0.001). Severe sepsis and septic shock were associated with higher in-hospital mortality rates in cirrhotic than in non-cirrhotic patients (41% and 71% vs. 30% and 49%, respectively, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Infection is more common in cirrhotic than in non-cirrhotic ICU patients and more commonly caused by Gram-positive organisms, including MRSA. Infection in patients with cirrhosis was associated with higher mortality rates than in non-cirrhotic patients.
Keywords: cirrhosis; infection; mortality; organ failure.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.