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Name of Media:

Prognosis of cirrhotic patients admitted to intensive care unit: a meta-analysis


Weil, D., Levesque, E., McPhail, M., Cavallazzi, R., Theocharidou, E., Cholongitas, E., Galbois, A., Pan, H. C., Karvellas, C. J., Sauneuf, B., Robert, R., Fichet, J., Piton, G., Thevenot, T., Capellier, G., Di Martino, V.

Publisher or Source:

Annals Of Intensive Care

Type of Media:

Medical Research

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians

Country of Origin:


Primary Focus of Media:

Pre-Use of PICS Designation

COVID-19 Related:



Background: The best predictors of short- and medium-term mortality of cirrhotic patients receiving intensive care support are unknown.

Methods: We conducted meta-analyses from 13 studies (2523 cirrhotics) after selection of original articles and response to a standardized questionnaire by the corresponding authors. End-points were in-ICU, in-hospital, and 6-month mortality in ICU survivors. A total of 301 pooled analyses, including 95 analyses restricted to 6-month mortality among ICU survivors, were conducted considering 249 variables (including reason for admission, organ replacement therapy, and composite prognostic scores).

Results: In-ICU, in-hospital, and 6-month mortality was 42.7, 54.1, and 75.1%, respectively. Forty-eight patients (3.8%) underwent liver transplantation during follow-up. In-ICU mortality was lower in patients admitted for variceal bleeding (OR 0.46; 95% CI 0.36-0.59; p < 0.001) and higher in patients with SOFA > 19 at baseline (OR 8.54; 95% CI 2.09-34.91; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.93). High SOFA no longer predicted mortality at 6 months in ICU survivors. Twelve variables related to infection were predictors of in-ICU mortality, including SIRS (OR 2.44; 95% CI 1.64-3.65; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.57), pneumonia (OR 2.18; 95% CI 1.47-3.22; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.69), sepsis-associated refractory oliguria (OR 10.61; 95% CI 4.07-27.63; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.76), and fungal infection (OR 4.38; 95% CI 1.11-17.24; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.85). Among therapeutics, only dopamine (OR 5.57; 95% CI 3.02-10.27; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.68), dobutamine (OR 8.92; 95% CI 3.32-23.96; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.86), epinephrine (OR 5.03; 95% CI 2.68-9.42; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.77), and MARS (OR 2.07; 95% CI 1.22-3.53; p = 0.007; PPV = 0.58) were associated with in-ICU mortality without heterogeneity. In ICU survivors, eight markers of liver and renal failure predicted 6-month mortality, including Child-Pugh stage C (OR 2.43; 95% CI 1.44-4.10; p < 0.001; PPV = 0.57), baseline MELD > 26 (OR 3.97; 95% CI 1.92-8.22; p < 0.0001; PPV = 0.75), and hepatorenal syndrome (OR 4.67; 95% CI 1.24-17.64; p = 0.022; PPV = 0.88).

Conclusions: Prognosis of cirrhotic patients admitted to ICU is poor since only a minority undergo liver transplant. The prognostic performance of general ICU scores decreases over time, unlike the Child-Pugh and MELD scores, even recorded in the context of organ failure. Infection-related parameters had a short-term impact, whereas liver and renal failure had a sustained impact on mortality.

Keywords: CLIF-SOFA; Cirrhosis; Extrahepatic organ failure; MELD; Mortality; Organ replacement therapy; Prognostic scores.

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