Complications constitute a major risk factor for mortality in hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure patients: a multi-national study from the Asia-Pacific region

Hepatol Int. 2019 Nov;13(6):695-705. doi: 10.1007/s12072-019-09992-x. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


Background and aim: Cirrhosis is a controversial determinant of mortality in HBV-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF). The present study aimed to explore the effects of cirrhosis and the associated risk factors, especially its complications, on the outcome of HBV-ACLF.

Methods: A prospective-retrospective cohort of 985 patients was identified from the APASL-ACLF Research Consortium (AARC) database and the Chinese Study Group. Complications of ACLF (ascites, infection, hepatorenal syndrome, hepatic encephalopathy, upper gastrointestinal bleeding) as well as cirrhosis and the current main prognostic models were measured for their predictive ability for 28- or 90-day mortality.

Results: A total of 709 patients with HBV-ACLF as defined by the AARC criteria were enrolled. Among these HBV-ACLF patients, the cirrhotic group showed significantly higher mortality and complications than the non-cirrhotic group. A total of 36.1% and 40.1% of patients met the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL)-Chronic Liver Failure consortium (CLIF-C) criteria in the non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic groups, respectively; these patients had significantly higher rates of mortality and complications than those who did not satisfy the CLIF-C criteria. Furthermore, among patients who did not meet the CLIF-C criteria, the cirrhotic group exhibited higher mortality and complication rates than the non-cirrhotic group, without significant differences in organ failure. The Tongji prognostic predictor model score (TPPMs), which set the number of complications as one of the determinants, showed comparable or superior ability to the Chinese Group on the Study of Severe Hepatitis B-ACLF score (COSSH-ACLFs), APASL-ACLF Research Consortium score (AARC-ACLFs), CLIF-C organ failure score (CLIF-C OFs), CLIF-C-ACLF score (CLIF-C-ACLFs), Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score (MELDs) and MELD-sodium score (MELD-Nas) in HBV-ACLF patients, especially in cirrhotic HBV--ACLF patients. Patients with two (OR 4.70, 1.88) or three (OR 8.27, 2.65) complications had a significantly higher risk of 28- or 90-day mortality, respectively.

Conclusion: The presence of complications is a major risk factor for mortality in HBV-ACLF patients. TPPM possesses high predictive ability in HBV-ACLF patients, especially in cirrhotic HBV-ACLF patients.

Keywords: Acute-on-chronic liver failure; Cirrhosis; HBV; Mortality; Prognostic scores.

MeSH terms

  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / epidemiology*
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / etiology
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / mortality
  • Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure / virology
  • Adult
  • Ascites / complications
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B virus*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis