Follow-up study of 582 liver cirrhosis patients for 26 years in Japan

Liver. 1987 Dec;7(6):316-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1987.tb00362.x.


A long-term follow-up study of liver cirrhosis (LC) was performed in 582 patients diagnosed by peritoneoscopy and liver biopsy in the 26 years from 1958 to 1984. The etiology of LC consisted of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 21%, alcoholic in 39% and cryptogenic in 39%. Fifty-nine percent of patients had died. Causes of death were hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC 44%), liver failure (30%), rupture of esophageal varices (14%), gastrointestinal bleeding (4%) and non-liver-related causes (8%). HCC accounted for increasing percentages (68%) since 1980. In all groups classified by the etiology, the causes of death had the same order in incidence. The age of onset of LC increased by 10 years from 42 to 52 years old and the age of death by 15 years from 43 to 58 in the 26-year period. The cumulative survival rate improved over the period. The 50% survival year was 7.9 in total patients, and 7.0, 8.5 and 10.0 in the three periods 1958-64, 1965-74 and 1975-84, respectively. It was 9.5, 6.3 and 9.8 in HBV, alcoholic and cryptogenic, respectively. LC patients survived 40-44% of the life expectancy of the general population in Japan in all age groups. Cox's multiregression life-table method selected three important prognostic factors from 7 parameters: a poor prognosis with a history of heavy alcohol consumption and old age at onset, and a better prognosis with recent onset.

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Liver Cirrhosis / drug therapy
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Male
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Prognosis
  • Time Factors


  • Prednisolone