Prevalence and in-hospital mortality trends of infections among patients with cirrhosis: a nationwide study of hospitalised patients in the United States

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Jul;40(1):105-12. doi: 10.1111/apt.12797. Epub 2014 May 16.


Background: Data on bacterial infections in hospitalised patients in the US with cirrhosis are derived largely from single centre data. Countrywide data in this population are lacking.

Aim: To assess prevalence of infections among hospitalised patients in the US and examine their impact on in-hospital mortality and health care resources utilisation.

Methods: Nationwide Inpatient Sample (1998-2007) was queried for hospitalisations with cirrhosis and examined for infections including spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), urinary tract infection (UTI), skin and soft tissue infections, pneumonia and Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). In-hospital mortality, length of stay (LOS) and total charges were analysed.

Results: Of 742,391 admissions with cirrhosis, 168,654 (23%) had discharge diagnosis of any infection. Between 1998 and 2007, there was a trend towards increasing prevalence of infections (21-25%). Higher rates of infection were associated with ascites (22-25%) and renal insufficiency (RI) (38-43%). Infection with RI increased from 13% in 1998 to 27% in 2007. UTI was the most common infection (9-12%) followed by subcutaneous tissue infections (5-6%) and SBP (2-3%, around 12% in patients with ascites). Infection rate was similar among teaching and nonteaching hospitals with CDI and SBP being more common in teaching hospitals. In-hospital mortality was about 5%, over fivefold higher in infected cirrhotics, and associated with higher LOS and charges. Sepsis (38-42%), pneumonia (23-30%), SBP (16-23%) and CDI (11-16%) contributed most to in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: The prevalence of infections among hospitalised patients with cirrhosis in the US is increasing and is associated with in-hospital mortality, renal insufficiency and costs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology