Development and validation of a prognostic score to predict mortality in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure

J Hepatol. 2014 Nov;61(5):1038-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.06.012. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


Background & aims: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a frequent syndrome (30% prevalence), characterized by acute decompensation of cirrhosis, organ failure(s) and high short-term mortality. This study develops and validates a specific prognostic score for ACLF patients.

Methods: Data from 1349 patients included in the CANONIC study were used. First, a simplified organ function scoring system (CLIF Consortium Organ Failure score, CLIF-C OFs) was developed to diagnose ACLF using data from all patients. Subsequently, in 275 patients with ACLF, CLIF-C OFs and two other independent predictors of mortality (age and white blood cell count) were combined to develop a specific prognostic score for ACLF (CLIF Consortium ACLF score [CLIF-C ACLFs]). A concordance index (C-index) was used to compare the discrimination abilities of CLIF-C ACLF, MELD, MELD-sodium (MELD-Na), and Child-Pugh (CPs) scores. The CLIF-C ACLFs was validated in an external cohort and assessed for sequential use.

Results: The CLIF-C ACLFs showed a significantly higher predictive accuracy than MELDs, MELD-Nas, and CPs, reducing (19-28%) the corresponding prediction error rates at all main time points after ACLF diagnosis (28, 90, 180, and 365 days) in both the CANONIC and the external validation cohort. CLIF-C ACLFs computed at 48 h, 3-7 days, and 8-15 days after ACLF diagnosis predicted the 28-day mortality significantly better than at diagnosis.

Conclusions: The CLIF-C ACLFs at ACLF diagnosis is superior to the MELDs and MELD-Nas in predicting mortality. The CLIF-C ACLFs is a clinically relevant, validated scoring system that can be used sequentially to stratify the risk of mortality in ACLF patients.

Keywords: Acute-on-chronic liver failure; Cirrhosis; Multi-organ failure; Prognosis; Sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / diagnosis
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors