Bacterial Infections in Cirrhotic Patients in a Tertiary Care Hospital

Link to article at PubMed

J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2021 Feb 28;9(1):32-39. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2020.00076. Epub 2020 Dec 22.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients with cirrhosis are immunocompromised and at higher risk of developing infections compared to the general population. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence of infections in cirrhotic patients in a large academic liver center and investigate potential associations between infections, bacteria isolated, therapeutic regimens used, and mortality.

METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review study, including 192 patients. All patients had a diagnosis of cirrhosis and were admitted to University Hospital. Information collected included demographics, etiology of cirrhosis, identification of bacteria from cultures, multidrug-resistant (MDR) status, antibiotics administered, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and patient mortality.

RESULTS: Infections were present in 105 (54.6%) patients, and 60 (31.2%) patients had multiple infections during a hospitalization(s) for infections. A total of 201 infections were identified. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) were the most common infection (37.8%), followed by bacteremia (20.4%), pneumonia (12.9%), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) (11.9%), abscess/cellulitis (6.0%), infectious diarrhea (6.0%), and other (5.0%). Escherichia coli was the most common bacteria isolated (13.4%), both among sensitive and MDR infections. MDR bacteria were the cause for 41.3% of all infections isolated. Fungi accounted for 9.5% of infections. 21.9% of patients had decompensation from their infection(s) that required ICU care, and 14.6% of patients died during hospitalization or soon after discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of infections in cirrhotic patients is much higher than in their non-cirrhotic counterparts (54.6%), even higher than prior studies suggest. As many of these infections are caused by MDR bacteria and fungal organisms, stronger empiric antibiotics and antifungals should be considered when initially treating this immunocompromised population. However, once organism sensitivities are discovered, narrowing of antibiotic regimens must occur to maintain good antibiotic stewardship.

PMID:33604253 | PMC:PMC7868695 | DOI:10.14218/JCTH.2020.00076

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