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Causes of renal failure in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and its impact in hospital mortality

Grazielle Cerqueira de Carvalho, Catarina de Andrade Regis, Jamile Rosário Kalil, Liv Aparício Cerqueira, Daniel Silva Barbosa, Marina Pamponet Motta, Marília da Silva Nery, Maria Alice Pires Soares, Claudio Celestino Zollinger, Paulo Lisboa Bittencourt


Background. Renal failure (RF) is reported to occur in 11-49% of the patients with decompensated end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and has been associated with increased mortality, particularly in the occurrence of hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) type 1. Aims. To evaluate the frequency and outcome of RF in patients admitted to the hospital due to decompensated ESLD and to assess the impact of the underlying cause of RF on survival. Material and methods. Four hundred and six patients (65% males, mean age 62 ± 12 years) with decompensated ESLD were evaluated for the occurrence of RF (defined as serum creatinine ³ 1.5 mg/mL). The underlying cause of RF was reckoned in each subject and compared to outcome. Results. Renal failure was observed in 39% of the patients at admission and in 10% of the subjects during hospitalization. Mortality was significantly higher in subjects with RF (26 vs. 1%, p < 0.000001). Hypovolemia, bacterial infections, parenchymal kidney diseases and HRS were identified as causes of RF in, respectively, 40, 32, 15 and 12% of the cases. Mortality was significantly higher in those subjects with HRS type 1 and bacterial infections, when compared to other causes of RF. Conclusions. Renal failure occurs in nearly half of the patients with decompensated ESLD. It is most commonly caused by hypovolemia and bacterial infections. Occurrence of RF has an adverse impact in patient survival, particularly in those subjects with bacterial infections and HRS type 1, prone to develop progressive renal dysfunction despite intensive medical care.

Key words. Bacterial infections, End-stage liver disease, Hepatorenal syndrome, Liver cirrhosis, Renal failure

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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