Albumin in the management of hepatic encephalopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Annals of hepatology. 2021;26:100541
Introduction and objectives It has been suggested that albumin administration could alter the natural history of cirrhosis, and also, that long-term treatment with albumin might be associated with improvement in survival, control of ascites, reduction in the incidence bacterial infections, renal dysfunction, hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and hyponatremia, as well as reduction in length of hospitalization in patients with cirrhosis and ascites. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the role of albumin in the management of HE. Materiales and methods:: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials that evaluated the use of albumin in adult patients with cirrhosis and HE. The search for eligible studies was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL databases until June 2020. The outcomes of interest were the complete reversal of HE and mortality. Meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model, through the Mantel-Haenszel method. Results: This systematic review was registered at the PROSPERO platform (CRD42020194181). The search strategy retrieved 1,118 articles. After reviewing titles and abstracts, 24 studies were considered potentially eligible, but 22 were excluded after full-text analysis. Finally, 2 studies were included. In the meta-analysis, albumin was associated to significant lower risks of persistent HE (risk ratio - RR = 0.60; 95% confidence interval - CI = 0.38-0.95, p = 0.03) and mortality (RR = 0.54; 95% CI = 0.33-0.90, p = 0.02). Conclusion: Albumin administration improves HE and reduces mortality in patients with cirrhosis and HE.
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.
Albumin administration in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis: a meta-analytic update
European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology. 2020
End-stage liver disease and its related complications exert a huge disease burden and reduce the survival rates of many patients. Albumin administration for patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis has been a controversial topic of discussion. The aim of this study is to investigate whether albumin reduces the mortality and complications of liver cirrhosis compared to standard medical therapy (SMT) alone. Clinical trials in which albumin administration was compared to SMT in patients with liver cirrhosis were included in this meta-analysis. The primary outcome of this study was to evaluate the effect on reducing all-cause mortality. Ascites control, renal failure and hepatic encephalopathy were evaluated as secondary outcomes. Nine clinical trials with 1231 patients were recruited and analyzed using the quality effect model. Mortality rate was significantly reduced in the albumin group [relative risk (RR) 0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56-0.96]. Heterogeneity was mild across all studies (I 23.3%). Studies reporting long-term albumin (LTA) administration were found to have a significant decrease in mortality (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.44-0.73). However, studies reporting short-term albumin administration were found to have no effect on mortality (RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.56-1.45). Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in the incidence of all secondary outcomes. This meta-analysis provides evidence that LTA administration is significantly effective in reducing the mortality of liver cirrhosis compared to SMT. Albumin administration was also shown to reduce the occurrence of ascites, renal failure and hepatic encephalopathy as complications of liver cirrhosis.
Albumin Administration is Efficacious in the Management of Patients with Cirrhosis: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Hepatic medicine : evidence and research. 2020;12:153-172
The use of albumin in patients with cirrhosis has been extensively discussed over recent years. Current treatment approaches depend on targeting related complications, aiming to treat and/or prevent circulatory dysfunction, bacterial infections and multi-organ failure. Albumin has been shown to prolong survival and reduce complications in patients with cirrhosis. This review aims to ascertain whether the use of albumin is justified in patients with cirrhosis. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses evaluating albumin use in patients with cirrhosis published between 1985 and February 2020 was conducted; the quality and risk of bias of the included studies were assessed. In total, 45 RCTs and 10 meta-analyses were included. Based on the included evidence, albumin is superior at preventing and controlling the incidence of cirrhosis complications vs other plasma expanders. Recent studies reported that long-term albumin administration to patients with decompensated cirrhosis improves survival with a 38% reduction in the mortality hazard ratio compared with standard medical treatment alone. Albumin infusions are justified for routine use in patients with cirrhosis, and the use of albumin either alone or in combination with other treatments leads to clinical benefits. Long-term administration of albumin should be considered in some patients.
Meta-analysis of individual patient data of albumin dialysis in acute-on-chronic liver failure: focus on treatment intensity
Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology. 2019;12:1756284819879565
Background: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a common complication of cirrhosis characterized by single or multiple organ failures and high short-term mortality. Treatment of ACLF consists of standard medical care (SMC) and organ(s) support. Whether the efficacy of artificial liver support (ALS) depends on the severity of ACLF or on the intensity of this treatment, or both, is unclear. This study aimed to further assess these issues. Methods: We performed an individual patient data meta-analysis assessing the efficacy of Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS) in ACLF patients enrolled in prior randomized control trials (RCTs). The meta-analysis was designed to assess the effect of patient severity (ACLF grade) and treatment intensity [low-intensity therapy (LIT), SMC alone or SMC plus 4 MARS sessions, high-intensity therapy (HIT), SMC plus > 4 MARS sessions] on mortality. Results: Three RCTs suitable for the meta-analysis (n = 285, ACLF patients = 165) were identified in a systematic review. SMC plus MARS (irrespective of the number of sessions) did not improve survival compared with SMC alone, neither in the complete population nor in the ACLF patients. Survival, however, was significantly improved in the subgroup of patients receiving HIT both in the entire cohort (10-day survival: 98.6% versus 82.8%, p = 0.001; 30-day survival: 73.9% versus 64.3%, p = 0.032) and within the ACLF patients (10-day survival: 97.8% versus 78.6%, p = 0.001; 30-day survival: 73.3% versus 58.5%, p = 0.041). Remarkably, HIT increased survival independently of ACLF grade. Independent predictors of survival were age, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), ACLF grade, number of MARS sessions received, and intensity of MARS therapy. Conclusion: HIT with albumin dialysis may improve survival in patients with ACLF. Appropriate treatment schedules should be determined in future clinical trials.
Albumin infusion may decrease the incidence and severity of overt hepatic encephalopathy in liver cirrhosis
BACKGROUND The role of human albumin infusion for the prevention and treatment of overt hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in liver cirrhosis remains unclear. RESULTS Among the 708 patients without pre-existing overt HE, albumin infusion significantly decreased the incidence of overt HE (4.20% versus 12.70%, P<0.001) and in-hospital mortality (1.70% versus 5.40%, P=0.008). Among the 182 patients with overt HE at admission or during hospitalization, albumin infusion significantly improved overt HE (84.60% versus 68.10%, P=0.009) and decreased in-hospital mortality (7.70% versus 19.80%, P=0.018). Meta-analysis of 6 studies found that albumin infusion might decrease the risk of overt HE (OR=1.63, P=0.07), but the difference was not statistically significant. Meta-analysis of 3 studies found that albumin infusion significantly improved overt HE (OR=2.40, P=0.04). CONCLUSIONS Based on the results of our retrospective study and meta-analysis, albumin infusion might prevent from the occurrence of overt HE and improve the severity of overt HE in cirrhosis. Our retrospective study also suggested that albumin infusion improved the outcomes of cirrhotic patients regardless of overt HE. METHODS Cirrhotic patients consecutively admitted between January 2010 and June 2014 were considered in a retrospective study. A 1:1 propensity score matching analysis was performed. Additionally, publications regarding albumin infusion for the management of overt HE were systematically searched. Meta-analyses were performed by random-effect model. Odds ratio (OR) was calculated.
Albumin for cirrhotic patients with extraperitoneal infections: a meta-analysis
Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2019
BACKGROUND AND AIM Bacterial infections are among the main causes of death in patients with cirrhosis. While there are unquestionable benefits of using albumin in patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, the benefits of albumin are controversial for those with extraperitoneal infections. The aim was to compare the use of albumin associated to antibiotics and antibiotics alone in cirrhotic patients with extraperitoneal infections. METHODS A systematic review was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE databases. Randomized controlled trials comparing albumin associated to antibiotics and antibiotics alone in cirrhotic patients with extraperitoneal infections were considered eligible, as long as at least one of the following outcomes was evaluated: mortality; renal dysfunction. Meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model, through the Mantel-Haenszel method. The study protocol was registered at PROSPERO platform (CRD42018107191). RESULTS The literature search yielded 812 references. Three randomized controlled trials fulfilled the selection criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. There was no evidence of significant difference between the groups regarding mortality in 30 days (risk ratio - RR = 1.62, 95% confidence interval - CI: 0.92 - 2.84, p = 0.09, I(2) = 0%) or in 90 days (RR = 1.27, 95%CI: 0.89 - 1.83, p = 0.19, I(2) = 0%). Regarding renal dysfunction, there was also no evidence of significant difference between the groups (RR = 0.55, 95%CI: 0.25 - 1.19, p = 0.13, I(2) = 0%). CONCLUSION There is no evidence of significant benefits of using albumin for cirrhotic patients with extraperitoneal infections regarding mortality or renal dysfunction.
Terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs for hepatorenal syndrome
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;((9)):CD011532.
BACKGROUND Hepatorenal syndrome is defined as severe renal failure occurring in people with cirrhosis and ascites. Systematic reviews of randomised clinical trials found that, compared with placebo, terlipressin may reduce mortality and improve renal function in people with hepatorenal syndrome, but we need current evidence from systematic reviews on the benefits and harms of terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of terlipressin versus other vasoactive drugs for people with hepatorenal syndrome. SEARCH METHODS We searched The Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and Science Citation Index Expanded; conducted manual searches of references in relevant literature; and wrote to experts and pharmaceutical companies (date of last search November 2016). SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised clinical trials comparing terlipressin versus any other type of vasoactive drugs for hepatorenal syndrome. We allowed albumin and other cointerventions if provided equally in the comparison groups. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Three authors independently extracted data. The primary outcomes were mortality, hepatorenal syndrome (persistent hepatorenal syndrome despite treatment), and serious adverse events. We conducted meta-analyses and present the results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We performed sensitivity, subgroup, and Trial Sequential Analyses and evaluated bias control based on the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains. MAIN RESULTS We included 10 randomised clinical trials with 474 participants. The trials compared terlipressin versus noradrenaline (seven trials), octreotide (one trial), midodrine and octreotide (one trial), or dopamine (one trial). All participants in both groups received albumin as cointervention. We classified two trials at low risk of bias and eight trials at high risk of bias in the assessment of mortality and all trials at high risk of bias for remaining outcomes. In five trials, investigators specifically stated that they did not receive funding from for-profit organisations. We had no information about the funding source from the remaining five trials.Terlipressin was not superior or inferior compared with other vasoactive drugs in regard to mortality when including the two trials with a low risk of bias (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.36; 94 participants, very low quality evidence) or when including all 10 trials (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.06; 474 participants; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). One meta-analysis including nine trials suggested a beneficial effect of terlipressin on hepatorenal syndrome (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.99; 394 participants; I(2) = 26%; very low quality evidence). Due to the high mortality of hepatorenal syndrome, the registration of other serious adverse events is uncertain, but comparing terlipressin and other vasoactive drugs we found no significant difference (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.06; 474 participants; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). Several trials did not report systematically of adverse events, but terlipressin seemed to increase the risks of diarrhoea or abdominal pain, or both (RR 3.50, 95% CI 1.19 to 10.27; 221 participants; 5 trials, I(2) = 0%). However, Trial Sequential Analyses found insufficient evidence to support or refute any differences between interventions for all outcomes. Considering reversal of hepatorenal syndrome, subgroup analyses on the type of other vasoactive drugs found that terlipressin was superior compared with midodrine and octreotide (RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.72) or octreotide alone (RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.96), but each subgroup only included one small trial. None of the remaining subgroup or sensitivity analyses found differences between terlipressin and other vasoactive drugs. We downgraded the evidence to very low quality because of the high risk of bias, imprecision, and the results of the Trial Sequential Analyses. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS This review found insufficient evidence to support
Terlipressin versus placebo or no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017;6:CD005162
BACKGROUND Hepatorenal syndrome is a potentially reversible renal failure associated with severe liver disease. The disease is relatively common among people with decompensated cirrhosis. Terlipressin is a drug that increases the blood flow to the kidneys by constricting blood vessels. The previous version of this systematic review found a potential beneficial effect of terlipressin on mortality and renal function in people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome. OBJECTIVES To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of terlipressin versus placebo/no intervention for people with cirrhosis and hepatorenal syndrome. SEARCH METHODS We identified eligible trials through searches of the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, Embase, and Science Citation Index Expanded, and manual searches until 21 November 2016. SELECTION CRITERIA Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) involving participants with cirrhosis and type 1 or type 2 hepatorenal syndrome allocated to terlipressin versus placebo or no intervention. We allowed co-administration with albumin administered to both comparison groups. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Two review authors independently extracted data from trial reports and undertook correspondence with the authors. Primary outcomes were mortality, hepatorenal syndrome, and serious adverse events. We conducted sensitivity analyses of RCTs in which participants received albumin, subgroup analyses of participants with type 1 or type 2 hepatorenal syndrome, and Trial Sequential Analyses to control random errors. We reported random-effects meta-analyses with risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). We assessed the risk of bias based on the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group domains. We graded the quality of the evidence using GRADE. MAIN RESULTS We included nine RCTs with a total of 534 participants with cirrhosis and ascites. One RCT had a low risk of bias for mortality and a high risk of bias for the remaining outcomes. All included trials had a high risk of bias for non-mortality outcomes. In total, 473 participants had type 1 hepatorenal syndrome. Seven RCTs specifically evaluated terlipressin and albumin. Terlipressin was associated with a beneficial effect on mortality when including all RCTs (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.98; 534 participants; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 10.3 people; low-quality evidence). Trial Sequential Analysis including all RCTs also found a beneficial effect of terlipressin. Additional analyses showed a beneficial effect of terlipressin and albumin on reversal of hepatorenal syndrome (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.82; 510 participants; 8 RCTs; NNTB 4 people; low-quality evidence). Terlipressin increased the risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events (RR 7.26, 95% CI 1.70 to 31.05; 234 participants; 4 RCTs), but it had no effect on the risk of serious adverse events when analysed as a composite outcome (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.21; 534 participants; 9 RCTs; number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome 24.5 people; low-quality evidence). Non-serious adverse events were mainly gastrointestinal, including diarrhoea (RR 5.76, 95% CI 2.19 to 15.15; 240 participants; low-quality evidence) and abdominal pain (RR 1.54, 95% CI 0.97 to 2.43; 294 participants; low-quality evidence).We identified one ongoing trial on terlipressin versus placebo in participants with cirrhosis, ascites, and hepatorenal syndrome type 1.Three RCTs reported funding from a pharmaceutical company. The remaining trials did not report funding or did not receive funding from pharmaceutical companies. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS This review suggests that terlipressin may be associated with beneficial effects on mortality and renal function in people with cirrhosis and type 1 hepatorenal syndrome, but it is also associated with serious adverse effects. We downgraded the strength of the evidence due to methodological issues including bias control, clinical
Insufficient evidence of benefit regarding mortality due to albumin substitution in HCC-free cirrhotic patients undergoing large volume paracentesis
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2016;32((2):):327-338
BACKGROUND Current guidelines for clinical practice recommend the infusion of human albumin after large volume paracentesis. After inspecting the current evidence behind this recommendation, we decided to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis in order to address the effect of albumin on mortality and morbidity in the context of large volume paracentesis. METHODS We performed a comprehensive search of large databases and abstract books of conference proceedings up to March 15th 2016 for randomized controlled trials, testing the infusion of human albumin against alternatives (vs. no treatment, vs. plasma expanders; vs. vasoconstrictors) in HCC-free patients suffering from cirrhosis. We analyzed these trials with regard to mortality, changes in plasma renin activity (PRA), hyponatremia, renal impairment, recurrence of ascites with consequential re-admission into hospital and additional complications. We employed trial sequential analysis in order to calculate the number of patients required in controlled trials to be able to determine a statistically significant advantage of the administration of one agent over another with regard to mortality. RESULTS We were able to include 21 trials totaling 1277 patients. While the administration of albumin prevents a rise in PRA as well as hyponatremia, no improvement in strong clinical endpoints such as mortality could be demonstrated. Trial sequential analysis showed that at least 1550 additional patients need to be recruited into RCTs and analyzed with regard to this question in order to detect or disprove a 25% mortality effect. CONCLUSIONS There is insufficient evidence that the infusion of albumin after LVP significantly lowers mortality in HCC-free patients with advanced liver disease.