Survival and prognostic indicators in compensated and decompensated cirrhosis

Dig Dis Sci. 1986 May;31(5):468-75. doi: 10.1007/BF01320309.


Six-year survival of cirrhosis was assessed in a series of 1155 consecutive patients (751 men, 404 women). Among the men, 33% were alcoholics and 18% were HBsAg positive; corresponding figures for the women were 15% and 6% respectively. Features of decompensation at first presentation were observed in 63% of the patients. Six-year survival was 54% in compensated and 21% in decompensated patients. No significant differences in survival were found between alcoholics and nonalcoholics. Leading causes of death were liver failure (49%), hepatocellular carcinoma (22%), and bleeding (13%). The prognostic role of 21 variables was evaluated separately in compensated and decompensated patients by the Cox's regression model. The following variables were found to be significant predictors of death risk in compensated patients: male sex, HBsAg positivity, age, prothrombin time prolongation, and esophageal varices. In decompensated disease the significant indicators of death risk were: hepatocellular carcinoma, encephalopathy, hemorrhage, SGOT, esophageal varices, gamma globulins, prothrombin time prolongation, continued abuse of alcohol, HBsAg positivity, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, and cholinesterase. A simple prognostic index based upon the relative risk coefficient of the significant variables is suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / physiopathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors


  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens