A prognostic score for patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure treated with plasma exchange-centered artificial liver support system
Scientific reports. 2021;11(1):1469
Artificial liver support system (ALSS) therapy is widely used in patients with hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF). We aimed to develop a predictive score to identify the subgroups who may benefit from plasma exchange (PE)-centered ALSS therapy. A total of 601 patients were retrospectively enrolled and randomly divided into a derivation cohort of 303 patients and a validation cohort of 298 patients for logistic regression analysis, respectively. Five baseline variables, including liver cirrhosis, total bilirubin, international normalized ratio of prothrombin time, infection and hepatic encephalopathy, were found independently associated with 3-month mortality. A predictive PALS model and the simplified PALS score were developed. The predicative value of PALS score (AUROC = 0.818) to 3-month prognosis was as capable as PALS model (AUROC = 0.839), R score (AUROC = 0.824) and Yue-Meng' score (AUROC = 0.810) (all p > 0.05), and superior to CART model (AUROC = 0.760) and MELD score (AUROC = 0.765) (all p < 0.05). The PALS score had significant linear correlation with 3-month mortality (R(2) = 0.970, p = 0.000). PALS score of 0-2 had both sensitivity and negative predictive value of > 90% for 3-month mortality, while PALS score of 6-9 had both specificity and positive predictive value of > 90%. Patients with PALS score of 3-5 who received 3-5 sessions of ALSS therapy had much lower 3-month mortality than those who received 1-2 sessions (32.8% vs. 59.2%, p < 0.05). The more severe patients with PALS score of 6-9 could still benefit from ≥ 6 sessions of ALSS therapy compared to ≤ 2 sessions (63.6% vs. 97.0%, p < 0.05). The PALS score could predict prognosis reliably and conveniently. It could identify the subgroups who could benefit from PE-centered ALSS therapy, and suggest the reasonable sessions.Trial registration: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, ChiCTR2000032055. Registered 19th April 2020, http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=52471 .
Band ligation versus sham or no intervention for primary prophylaxis of oesophageal variceal bleeding in children and adolescents with chronic liver disease or portal vein thrombosis
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2021;1:Cd011561
BACKGROUND Portal hypertension commonly accompanies advanced liver disease and often gives rise to life-threatening complications, including bleeding (haemorrhage) from oesophageal and gastrointestinal varices. Variceal bleeding commonly occurs in children and adolescents with chronic liver disease or portal vein thrombosis. Prevention is, therefore, important. Randomised clinical trials have shown that non-selective beta-blockers and endoscopic variceal band ligation decrease the incidence of variceal bleeding in adults. In children and adolescents, band ligation, beta-blockers, and sclerotherapy have been proposed as primary prophylaxis alternatives for oesophageal variceal bleeding. However, it is unknown whether these interventions are of benefit or harm when used for primary prophylaxis in children and adolescents. OBJECTIVES To assess the benefits and harms of band ligation compared with sham or no intervention for primary prophylaxis of oesophageal variceal bleeding in children and adolescents with chronic liver disease or portal vein thrombosis. SEARCH METHODS We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, PubMed, Embase, and two other databases (April 2020). We scrutinised the reference lists of the retrieved publications, and we also handsearched abstract books of the two main paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology conferences from January 2008 to December 2019. We also searched clinicaltrials.gov, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) for ongoing clinical trials. We imposed no language or document type restrictions on our search. SELECTION CRITERIA We aimed to include randomised clinical trials irrespective of blinding, language, or publication status, to assess the benefits and harms of band ligation versus sham or no intervention for primary prophylaxis of oesophageal variceal bleeding in children with chronic liver disease or portal vein thrombosis. If the search for randomised clinical trials retrieved quasi-randomised and other observational studies, then we read them through to extract information on harm. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used standard Cochrane methodology to perform this systematic review. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence for each outcome. Our primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, serious adverse events and liver-related morbidity, and quality of life. Our secondary outcomes were oesophageal variceal bleeding and adverse events not considered serious. We used the intention-to-treat principle. We analysed data using Review Manager 5. MAIN RESULTS One conference abstract, describing a feasibility multi-centre randomised clinical trial, fulfilled our review inclusion criteria. We judged the trial at overall high risk of bias. This trial was conducted in three hospital centres in the United Kingdom. The aim of the trial was to determine the feasibility and safety of further larger randomised clinical trials of prophylactic band ligation versus no active treatment in children with portal hypertension and large oesophageal varices. Twelve children received prophylactic band ligation and 10 children received no active treatment. There was no information on the age of the children included, or about the diagnosis of any child included. All children were followed up for at least six months. Mortality was 8% (1/12) in the band ligation group versus 0% (0/10) in the no active intervention group (risk ratio (RR) 2.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.11 to 56.25; very low certainty of evidence). The abstract did not report when the death occurred, but we assume it happened between the six-month follow-up and one year. No child (0%) in the band ligation group developed adverse events (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.01 to 6.25; very low certainty of evidence) but one child out of 10 (10%) in the no active intervention group developed idiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura. One child out of 12 (8%) in the band ligation group underwent liver transplantation versus none in the no active intervention group (0%) (RR 2.54, 95% CI 0.11 to 56.25; very low certainty of evidence). The trial reported no other serious adverse events or liver-related morbidity. Quality of life was not reported. Oesophageal variceal bleeding occurred in 8% (1/12) of the children in the band ligation group versus 30% (3/10) of the children in the no active intervention group (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.03 to 2.27; very low certainty of evidence). No adverse events considered non-serious were reported. Two children were lost to follow-up by one-year. Ten children in total completed the trial at two-year follow-up. There was no information on funding. We found two observational studies on endoscopic variceal ligation when searching for randomised trials. One found no harm, and the other reported E nterobacter cloacae septicaemia in one child and mild, transient, upper oesophageal sphincter stenosis in another. We did not assess these studies for risk of bias. We did not find any ongoing randomised clinical trials of interest to our review. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS The evidence, obtained from only one feasibility randomised clinical trial at high risk of bias, is very scanty. It is very uncertain about whether prophylactic band ligation versus sham or no (active) intervention may affect mortality, serious adverse events and liver-related morbidity, or oesophageal variceal bleeding in children and adolescents with portal hypertension and large oesophageal varices. We have no data on quality of life. No adverse events considered non-serious were reported. The results presented in the trial need to be interpreted with caution. In addition, the highly limited data cover only part of our research question; namely, children with portal hypertension and large oesophageal varices. Data on children with portal vein thrombosis are lacking. Larger randomised clinical trials assessing the benefits and harms of band ligation compared with sham treatment for primary prophylaxis of oesophageal variceal bleeding in children and adolescents with chronic liver disease or portal vein thrombosis are needed. The trials should include important clinical outcomes such as death, quality of life, failure to control bleeding, and adverse events.
A Randomized Trial of Albumin Infusions in Hospitalized Patients with Cirrhosis
The New England journal of medicine. 2021;384(9):808-817
BACKGROUND Infection and increased systemic inflammation cause organ dysfunction and death in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Preclinical studies provide support for an antiinflammatory role of albumin, but confirmatory large-scale clinical trials are lacking. Whether targeting a serum albumin level of 30 g per liter or greater in these patients with repeated daily infusions of 20% human albumin solution, as compared with standard care, would reduce the incidences of infection, kidney dysfunction, and death is unknown. METHODS We conducted a randomized, multicenter, open-label, parallel-group trial involving hospitalized patients with decompensated cirrhosis who had a serum albumin level of less than 30 g per liter at enrollment. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either targeted 20% human albumin solution for up to 14 days or until discharge, whichever came first, or standard care. Treatment commenced within 3 days after admission. The composite primary end point was new infection, kidney dysfunction, or death between days 3 and 15 after the initiation of treatment. RESULTS A total of 777 patients underwent randomization, and alcohol was reported to be a cause of cirrhosis in most of these patients. A median total infusion of albumin of 200 g (interquartile range, 140 to 280) per patient was administered to the targeted albumin group (increasing the albumin level to ≥30 g per liter), as compared with a median of 20 g (interquartile range, 0 to 120) per patient administered to the standard-care group (adjusted mean difference, 143 g; 95% confidence interval [CI], 127 to 158.2). The percentage of patients with a primary end-point event did not differ significantly between the targeted albumin group (113 of 380 patients [29.7%]) and the standard-care group (120 of 397 patients [30.2%]) (adjusted odds ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.33; P = 0.87). A time-to-event analysis in which data were censored at the time of discharge or at day 15 also showed no significant between-group difference (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.35). More severe or life-threatening serious adverse events occurred in the albumin group than in the standard-care group. CONCLUSIONS In patients hospitalized with decompensated cirrhosis, albumin infusions to increase the albumin level to a target of 30 g per liter or more was not more beneficial than the current standard care in the United Kingdom. (Funded by the Health Innovation Challenge Fund; ATTIRE EudraCT number, 2014-002300-24; ISRCT number, N14174793.).
Hospitalized patients with cirrhosis enrolled in the ATTIRE trial (n= 777).
Targeted 20% human albumin solution (n= 380).
Standard care (n= 397).
The composite primary end point was new infection, kidney dysfunction, or death between days 3 and 15 after the initiation of treatment. The percentage of patients with a primary end point event did not differ significantly between the targeted albumin group (113 of 380 patients [29.7%]) and the standard-care group (120 of 397 patients [30.2%]). A time-to-event analysis in which data were censored at the time of discharge or at day 15 also showed no significant between-group difference. More severe or life-threatening serious adverse events occurred in the albumin group than in the standard-care group.
The pharmacodynamic effect of terlipressin versus high-dose octreotide in reducing hepatic venous pressure gradient: a randomized controlled trial
Annals of translational medicine. 2021;9(9):793
BACKGROUND Vasoactive drugs can reduce portal venous pressure and control variceal bleeding. However, few studies have explored the hemodynamic effects of terlipressin and high-dose octreotide in such patients. Our purpose was to evaluate the hemodynamic changes and safety of using terlipressin and high-dose octreotide in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. METHODS A multi-center randomized controlled trial was conducted. Cirrhotic patients with a history of variceal bleeding were included. Terlipressin or high-dose octreotide was administered during the procedure of measuring hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG). Hemodynamic parameters and symptoms were recorded. RESULTS A total of 88 patients were included. HVPG was significantly reduced at 10, 20, and 30 min after drug administration in the terlipressin group (16.3±6.4 vs. 14.7±5.9, 14.0±6.1, and 13.8±6.1, respectively, P<0.001) and the high-dose octreotide group (17.4±6.6 vs. 15.1±5.8, 15.3±6.2, and 16.1±6.0, respectively P<0.01). Decreased heart rate and increased mean arterial pressure were more often observed in the terlipressin group. The overall response rates were not significantly different between the groups (52.8% vs. 44.8%, P=0.524). The terlipressin group had significantly higher response rates at 30 min compared to the high-dose octreotide group in those with alcoholic liver cirrhosis [6/6 (100%) vs. 0/4 (0%), P=0.005]. The incidence of adverse drug events was rare and similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS Both terlipressin and high-dose octreotide were effective and safe for reducing HVPG. The pharmacodynamic effect of terlipressin persisted longer. The terlipressin group had higher response rates in those with alcoholic cirrhosis (trial number: NCT02119884).
Standard-volume plasma-exchange improves outcomes in patients with acute liver failure - A Randomized Controlled Trial
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2021
BACKGROUND High volume plasma-exchange (HVPE) improves survival in patients with acute liver failure (ALF), but apprehension regarding volume overload and worsening of cerebral edema remain. METHODS In an open-label randomized controlled trial, 40 consecutive patients of ALF were randomized 1:1 to either standard medical treatment (SMT) or SMT with standard-volume plasma-exchange (SVPE). SVPE was performed using centrifugal apheresis [target volume of 1.5 to 2.0 plasma volumes per session] until desired response was achieved. Cerebral edema was assessed by brain imaging. Results were analyzed in an intention-to-treat analysis. Primary outcome was 21-day transplant-free survival. The levels of cytokines, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and endotoxins were analyzed at baseline and day 5. RESULTS ALF patients [aged 31.5±12.2 years, 60% male, 78% viral, 83% hyperacute, 70% with SIRS were included. At day 5, SVPE [mean sessions 2.15±1.42, median plasma volume replaced 5.049 L] compared to SMT alone, resulted in higher lactate clearance (p=0.02), amelioration of SIRS (84% vs. 26%; P=0.02), reduction in ammonia levels [(221.5±96.9) vs.(439±385.6) μg/dl, P=0.02) and SOFA scores [9.9(±3.3) vs. 14.6(±4.8); P=0.001]. There were no treatment related deaths. SVPE was associated with a higher 21-day transplant free-survival [75% vs. 45%; P=0.04, HR 0.30, 95%CI 0.01-0.88]. A significant decrease in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines along with a decrease in endotoxin and DAMPs was seen with SVPE. CONCLUSION In ALF patients with cerebral edema, SVPE is safe and effective and improves survival possibly by a reduction in cytokine storm and ammonia. ClinicalTrial.gov (identifier: NCT02718079).
Terlipressin effect on hepatorenal syndrome: Updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
JGH open : an open access journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2021;5(8):896-901
BACKGROUND AND AIM Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a fatal complication of liver cirrhosis with a limited pharmacological option. Terlipressin is a vasoconstrictor that is approved in many countries but not yet in the United States. This is a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to review terlipressin effect on HRS and the safety profile. METHODS We searched electronic databases for RCTs comparing terlipressin versus placebo in addition to albumin in patients with type 1 or 2 HRS. Primary outcome was HRS reversal. Secondary outcomes were change in serum creatinine (Cr), requirement for renal replacement therapy (RRT) at 30 days of randomization, and 90-day survival. Risk ratios (RRs) and mean differences (MD) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using a random-effects model. RESULTS We identified eight RCTs with a total of 974 patients, and median follow up of 100 days. Mean age was 55 ± 10 years, 61% were males. Alcoholic liver disease represented 56%. Compared with placebo, terlipressin was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of HRS reversal (RR 2.08; 95% CI [1.51, 2.86], P < 0.001), significantly lower serum Cr (MD -0.64; 95% CI (-1.02, -0.27), P < 0.001], and a trend toward less RRT requirements (RR 0.61; 95% CI [0.36, 1.02], P = 0.06). There was no difference in survival at 90 days between groups (RR 1.09; 95% CI (0.84, 1.43), P = 0.52). Major adverse effects (AEs) were gastrointestinal cramps, discomfort, and respiratory distress. CONCLUSION In patients with liver cirrhosis complicated by HRS, terlipressin was associated with significant HRS reversal and decrease in serum Cr. No survival benefit was detected at 90 days.
Efficacy and safety of albumin infusion for overt hepatic encephalopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Digestive and liver disease : official journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver. 2021
BACKGROUND AND AIMS The efficacy and safety of albumin infusion for treatment and prevention of overt hepatic encephalopathy (OHE) among cirrhosis patients remained controversial. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the benefit of albumin infusion for the treatment and prevention of OHE. METHODS We performed a systematic search of 4 electronic databases up to 31st January 2021. The primary outcome was the resolution of OHE. Secondary outcomes were inpatient mortality and albumin-associated adverse events. We assessed the pooled odds' risk, pooled mean differences, 95% confidence interval and heterogeneity using Review Manager Version 5.3. RESULTS A total of 12 studies (2,087 subjects) were identified. Among cirrhosis patients with OHE, albumin infusion was associated with a lower pooled risk of OHE (OR=0.43, 95%CI: 0.27, 0.68; I(2)=0%). Among patients without baseline OHE, albumin infusion was associated with a lower pooled risk of developing OHE (OR=0.53, 95%CI: 0.32, 0.86; I(2)=62%). Albumin infusion was associated with a lower pooled risk of inpatient mortality (OR=0.36, 95%CI: 0.21, 0.60; I(2)=0%). CONCLUSION Well-powered randomized trials are required to confirm the benefits of albumin infusion for the prevention and treatment of overt hepatic encephalopathy among decompensated cirrhosis patients.
Vasoactive Agents for the Management of Acute Variceal Bleeding: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Journal of gastrointestinal and liver diseases : JGLD. 2021;30(1):110-121
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Vasoactive agents with endoscopic therapy are used to treat acute variceal bleeding (AVB). There are two main groups of vasoactive agents: terlipressin and vasopressin (T-V), and octreotide and somatostatin (O-S). However, the benefit/harm balance is unclear. Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of T-V versus O-S for the management of AVB. METHODS We performed a systematic search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in PubMed, Scopus, and CENTRAL. Our main outcomes were mortality and adverse events. Secondary outcomes were bleeding control, rebleeding, blood transfusion, hospital stay. We evaluated the certainty of evidence using GRADE methodology. RESULTS We included 21 RCTs. The risk of mortality (RR: 1.01; 95%CI: 0.83-1.22), bleeding control (RR: 0.96; 95%CI: 0.91-1.02; I 2 =53%), early rebleeding (RR: 0.91; 95%CI: 0.66-1.24: I 2 =0%), late rebleeding (RR: 0.94; 95 CI: 0.56-1.60; I 2 =0%), blood transfusion (MD: 0.04; 95%CI: -0.31-0.39; I 2 =68%) and hospital stay (MD: -1.06; 95%CI: -2.80-0.69; I 2 =0%) were similar between T-V and O-S groups. Only 15 studies reported adverse events, which were significantly higher in the T-V compared to the O-S group (RR 2.39; 95%CI: 1.58-3.63; I 2 =57%). The certainty of evidence was moderate for the main outcomes, and low or very low for others. CONCLUSIONS In cirrhotic patients with AVB, those treated with T-V had similar mortality risk compared to O-S. However, the use of T-V showed an increased risk of adverse events compared to O-S.
Plasma trial: Pilot randomized clinical trial to determine safety and efficacy of plasma transfusions
BACKGROUND Plasma is frequently administered to patients with prolonged INR prior to invasive procedures. However, there is limited evidence evaluating efficacy and safety. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We performed a pilot trial in hospitalized patients with INR between 1.5 and 2.5 undergoing procedures conducted outside the operating room. We excluded patients undergoing procedures proximal to the central nervous system, platelet counts <40,000/μl, or congenital or acquired coagulation disorders unresponsive to plasma. We randomly allocated patients stratified by hospital and history of cirrhosis to receive plasma transfusion (10-15 cc/kg) or no transfusion. The primary outcome was change in hemoglobin concentration within 2 days of procedure. RESULTS We enrolled 57 patients, mean age 56.0, 34 (59.6%) with cirrhosis, and mean INR 1.92 (SD = 0.27). In the intention to treat analysis, there were 10 of 27 (38.5%) participants in the plasma arm with a post procedure INR <1.5 and one of 30 (3.6%) in the no treatment arm (p < .01). The mean INR after receiving plasma transfusion was -0.24 (SD 0.26) lower than baseline. The change from pre-procedure hemoglobin level to lowest level within 2 days was -0.6 (SD = 1.0) in the plasma transfusion arm and -0.4 (SD = 0.6) in the no transfusion arm (p = .29). Adverse outcomes were uncommon. DISCUSSION We found no differences in change in hemoglobin concentration in those treated with plasma compared to no treatment. The change in INR was small and corrected to less than 1.5 in minority of patients. Large trials are required to establish if plasma is safe and efficacious.
Patients with cirrhosis (n= 57).
Plasma transfusion (n= 27).
No transfusion (n= 30).
In the intention to treat analysis, there were 10 of 27 (38.5%) participants in the plasma arm with a post procedure INR <1.5 and one of 30 (3.6%) in the no treatment arm. The mean INR after receiving plasma transfusion was -0.24 (SD 0.26) lower than baseline. The change from pre-procedure haemoglobin level to lowest level within 2 days was -0.6 (SD = 1.0) in the plasma transfusion arm and -0.4 (SD = 0.6) in the no transfusion arm. Adverse outcomes were uncommon.
The efficacy and safety of thrombopoietin receptor agonists in patients with chronic liver disease undergoing elective procedures: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) can mitigate preprocedural thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) however their effects on procedural outcomes is unclear. In this meta-analysis, we aimed to better define the efficacy, thrombotic risk and bleeding mitigation associated with the use of preoperative TPO-RAs in patients with CLD. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials to assess the use of preprocedural TPO-RAs in patients with CLD, searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane library database. Six publications comprising eight randomized trials (1229 patients; 717 received TPO-RAs, 512 received placebo) and three unique TPO-RAs were retrieved. The majority of the included procedures were endoscopic. TPO-RAs were significantly more likely to result in a preoperative platelet count greater than 50 x 10(9)/L (72.1% vs 15.6%, RR 4.8, 95% CI 3.6-6.4 p < .00001. NNT 1.8) and reduced the incidence of platelet transfusions (22.5% vs 67.8%, RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.3-0.4 p < .00001. NNT 2.2). Total periprocedural bleeding was decreased in patients who received TPO-RAs (11.6% vs 15.6%, RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.5-0.9 p = .01. NNT 24.7) and there was no increase in the rate of thrombosis (2.2% vs 1.8% RR 1.25, 95% CI 0.6-2.9 p = .60. NNH 211.1). In patients with CLD the use of preprocedural TPO-RAs resulted in significant increased platelet counts, and decreased the incidence of platelet transfusions as compared to placebo. TPO use likewise decreased the incidence of total periprocedural bleeding without increasing the rate of thrombosis.