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Class III obesity is a risk factor for the development of acute on chronic liver failure in patients with decompensated cirrhosis

Sundaram, V; Jalan, R; Ahn, JC; Charlton, MR; Goldberg, DS; Karvellas, CJ; Noureddin, M; (2018) Class III obesity is a risk factor for the development of acute on chronic liver failure in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Journal of Hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.04.016. (In press).

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a syndrome of systemic inflammation and organ failures. Obesity, also characterized by chronic inflammation, is a risk factor among patients with cirrhosis for decompensation, infection, and mortality. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that obesity predisposes to ACLF development in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. METHODS: We examined the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database, from 2005-2016, characterizing patients at wait-listing as non-obese (BMI < 30), obese class I-II (BMI 30-39.9) and obese class III (BMI≥40). ACLF was determined based on the CANONIC study definition. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to assess the association between obesity and ACLF development at liver transplantation (LT). We confirmed our findings using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), years 2009-2013, using validated diagnostic coding algorithms to identify obesity, hepatic decompensation and ACLF. Logistic regression evaluated the association between obesity and ACLF occurrence. RESULTS: Among 387,884 with decompensated cirrhosis, 116,704 patients (30.1%) were identified as having ACLF in both databases. Multivariable modeling from the UNOS database revealed class III obesity to be an independent risk factor for ACLF at LT (HR=1.24, 95% CI 1.09-1.41, p<0.001). This finding was confirmed using the NIS (OR=1.30, 95% CI 1.25-1.35, p<0.001). Regarding specific organ failures, analysis of both registries demonstrated patients with class I-II and class III obesity had greater prevalence of renal failure. CONCLUSION: Class III obesity is a newly identified risk factor for ACLF development in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Obese patients have a particularly higher prevalence of renal failure as a component of ACLF. These findings have important implications regarding stratifying risk and preventing the occurrence of ACLF. LAY SUMMARY: In this study, we identify that among patients with decompensated cirrhosis, class III obesity is a modifiable risk factor for the development of acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF). We further demonstrate that regarding the specific organ failures associated with ACLF, renal failure is significantly more prevalent among obese patients, particularly class III obesity. These findings underscore the importance of weight management in cirrhosis, to reduce the risk of ACLF. Patients with class III obesity should be monitored closely for the development of renal failure.

Type: Article
Title: Class III obesity is a risk factor for the development of acute on chronic liver failure in patients with decompensated cirrhosis
Location: Netherlands
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.04.016
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2018.04.016
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Inflammation, Organ failure, Portal hypertension, Renal failure, CLIF-SOFA
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10048445
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