- 1Department of Pharmacy, UK HealthCare, Lexington, KY, USA.
- 2Department of Biostatistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
- 3Department of Hospital Medicine, UK HealthCare, Lexington, KY, USA.
Background: Additional therapies for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) treatment are warranted. There are data evaluating the use of zinc for HE; however, clinical outcomes, specifically in the United States, are unknown.
Objective: To compare 30-day and 1-year all-cause readmission rates in patients with cirrhosis complicated by HE on lactulose and rifaximin to those on lactulose, rifaximin, and zinc.
Methods: This retrospective study included patients admitted with documented cirrhosis and home medications of lactulose and rifaximin, with or without zinc. Patients were stratified into 2 groups: those receiving lactulose and rifaximin for HE (control) and those receiving lactulose, rifaximin, and zinc for HE (treatment). The primary outcomes were 30-day and 1-year all-cause readmission rates.
Results: One-hundred fifty-seven patients were included (102 in control group, 55 in treatment group). Regarding 30-day and 1-year all-cause readmission rates, there was no difference between the control and treatment groups.
Conclusion and relevance: This is the first study conducted in the United States evaluating zinc for HE treatment. Zinc did not impact 30-day or 1-year all-cause readmission rates. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the potential benefit of zinc for HE, possibly in correlation with Model for End-stage Liver Disease-Sodium (MELD-Na) scores.