Aims: Shock of any cause leads to end-organ damage due to ischaemia, especially in perfusion-sensitive organs such as the liver. In septic shock, hypoxic hepatitis (S-HH) is defined as the 20-fold increase of the upper normal limit of aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) and is associated with a mortality of up to 60%. However, as pathophysiology, dynamics, and treatment differ between septic and cardiogenic shock (CS), the S-HH definition may not be suitable for CS. Therefore, we aim to evaluate if the S-HH definition is applicable in CS patients.
Methods and results: This analysis was based on a registry of all-comer CS patients treated between 2009 and 2019 at a tertiary care centre with exclusion of minors and patients without all necessary ASAT and ALAT values. N = 698. During in-hospital follow-up, 386 (55.3%) patients died. The S-HH was not significantly associated with in-hospital mortality in CS patients. To define HH among patients with CS (C-HH), optimal cut-off values were found to be ≥1.34-fold increase for ASAT and ≥1.51-fold increase for ALAT in serial measurements. The incidence of C-HH was 254/698 patients (36%) and C-HH showed a strong association with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 2.36, 95% confidence interval: 1.61, 3.49).
Conclusion: The C-HH is a frequent and relevant comorbidity in patients with CS, although its definition varies from the established definition of HH in patients with septic shock. As C-HH contributed to excess mortality risk, these findings emphasize the need for further investigation of therapies reducing the occurrence of C-HH and also improving the associated outcome.
Keywords: Cardiogenic shock; Hypoxic hepatitis; Hypoxic liver injury; Ischaemic hepatitis; Mortality; Septic shock.
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