Published online Oct 8, 2017. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i28.1133
Peer-review started: January 7, 2017
First decision: March 13, 2017
Revised: July 23, 2017
Accepted: September 14, 2017
Article in press: September 15, 2017
Published online: October 8, 2017
To explore the applicability of the Asia-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) and European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) guidelines for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in profiling patients and determining the outcome.
Patients admitted to a tertiary hospital in Singapore with acute decompensation of liver disease from January 2004 to July 2014 are screened for ACLF according to the APASL and EASL criteria. The patients’ data (including basic demographics, information about existing chronic liver disease, information about the acute decompensation, relevant laboratory values during admission, treatment, and outcome) are retrospectively analyzed to determine the background, precipitating factors and outcome.
A total of 458 liver patients is analyzed, and 78 patients with ACLF are identified. Sixty-three patients (80.8%) meet the APASL criteria, 64 patients (82.1%) meet the EASL criteria, and 49 patients (62.8%) fulfilled both criteria. The most common causes of acute liver injury are bacterial infections (59.0%), hepatitis B flare (29.5%), and variceal bleeding (24.4%). The common aetiologies of the underlying chronic disease included hepatitis B (43.6%), alcoholic (20.5%) and cryptogenic (11.5%) liver disease. The overall mortality rate is 61.5%. Increased age, the number of organ failures (as per CLIF-SOFA score), peak creatinine, INR, and amylase levels are associated with increased mortality or the need for liver transplantation. 14.3% of patients undergo liver transplantation with a 100% 1-year survival rate.
Both APASL and EASL criteria have identified ACLF patients with high three-month mortality, but those who fulfill APASL criteria alone have a better survival.
Core tip: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a distinct disease entity with a high short-term mortality. Utilizing both the Asia-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) and European Association for the Study of the Liver criteria, our study shows that the clinical profile of ACLF patients in Singapore appears to have mixed features compared with similar studies reported in the rest of Asia and the West. Patients with ACLF fulfilling only the APASL criteria in our study had significantly better survival rates. We also analyzed the prognostic factors of ACLF in our study.