Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2022 Feb 1. doi: 10.1111/apt.16790. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The occurrence of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) is associated with increased mortality. HE is commonly precipitated by infection, but whether HE predisposes to new infection is unclear. This study aimed to test if OHE predisposes to de novo infection during hospitalisation and its association with short-term mortality.
AIMS AND METHODS: Seven hundred and fifty-nine consecutive patients were identified at two institutions from prospectively maintained clinical databases of cirrhotic patients admitted with acute decompensation (AD). Infection and HE data were collected on the day of admission, and the occurrence of de novo infections was assessed for 28 days after admission. EASL-CLIF organ failure criteria were used to determine the presence of organ failures. Multivariable analysis using the logistic regression model was used to assess predictors of 28-day mortality and de novo infection.
RESULTS: Patients were divided into four groups; no baseline OHE or infection (n = 352); OHE with no baseline Infection (n = 221); no OHE but baseline infection (n = 100) and OHE with baseline infection (n = 86). On multivariate analyses, OHE (OR, 1.532 [95% CI, 1.061-2.300, P = 0.024]), and admission to ITU (OR, 2.303 [95% CI, 1.508-3.517, P < 0.001]) were independent risk factors for de novo infection. 28-day mortality was 25.3%, 60.2%, 55.0% and 72.1% in the 4-groups respectively. Age, INR and creatinine were independently predictive of mortality. The presence of overt HE, infection, coagulation, kidney, circulatory, respiratory and liver failures were significantly associated with higher mortality.
CONCLUSION: OHE is an independent risk factor for de novo infection in cirrhotic patients with AD.