Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charelston, South Carolina, USA.
Scoring systems such as Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Child-Pugh are often used by clinicians to determine prognosis in patients with cirrhosis. Since clinical complications are important in determining cirrhosis outcomes, our goal was to use these to develop a novel prognostic staging model. Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), years 2003-2011, were queried for records of patients over the age of 18 with cirrhosis excluding patients with prior or inpatient liver transplantation. The primary outcome was inpatient mortality with focus on cirrhosis-related complications: non-bleeding esophageal varices, variceal hemorrhage, ascites, hepatic encephalopathy (HE), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Of 59 862 903 hospitalizations, 824 783 (1.4%) with cirrhosis were identified. Overall mortality was 7% with two-thirds (66%) of deaths occurring in patients with a decompensating event, defined as variceal hemorrhage, ascites, HE, SBP, and/or HRS. Overall mortality rates decreased from 2003 to 2011 (9.0-6.0%), in both compensated and decompensated groups. Mortality was higher in patients with variceal haemorrhage (OR 1.56; p<0.05), HE (OR 1.75; p<0.05), SBP (OR 2.64; p<0.05) and HRS (OR 9.10; p<0.05) compared with patients with no complications. HRS had the highest mortality, whether alone or in combination with another event such as HE (OR 12.40; p<0.05) or SBP (OR 12.64; p<0.05). Cirrhosis inpatient outcomes are related to the severity of liver disease, with more severe complications such as HE, SBP, and HRS having the most significant effect on inpatient mortality, and are utilised in this novel four-stage clinical model.