Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 676 North Saint Clair, Arkes 19-041, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.
Salix Pharmaceuticals, Bridgewater, NJ, USA.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
Cirrhosis-related complications are associated with poor prognosis. With our analyses, we examined the potential benefit of rifaximin in reducing the risk of developing cirrhosis-related complications.
Adults with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in remission were randomly assigned to receive rifaximin 550 mg twice daily or placebo for 6 months with concomitant lactulose permitted. Post hoc analyses examined time to cirrhosis-related complications (HE, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), variceal bleeding, acute kidney injury/hepatorenal syndrome). Subgroup analyses evaluated efficacy for select baseline disease characteristics.
Of patients receiving rifaximin (n = 140) and placebo (n = 159), 53.6% and 49.1%, respectively, had baseline Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score ⩾ 12 and international normalized ratio (INR) ⩾ 1.2. Baseline ascites was observed in 36.4% (rifaximin) and 34.6% (placebo) of patients. In patients with MELD score ⩾ 12 and INR ⩾ 1.2, rifaximin reduced the relative risk (RR) of any first complication experienced during trial by 59% [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25-0.67; p < 0.001] versus placebo. For patients with baseline ascites, rifaximin reduced the RR of any first complication experienced during trial by 42% versus placebo (HR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.34-1.0; p = 0.045). For some subgroups, there was a decrease in RR of complications of SBP, variceal bleeding, and acute kidney injury/hepatorenal syndrome with rifaximin versus placebo, although there were few events reported in the study.
Rifaximin may reduce the incidence of cirrhosis-related complications and the recurrence of overt HE.[ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00298038.].