Prognostic stratification of patients with cirrhosis is common clinical practice. This study compares the prognostic accuracy (28-day and 90-day transplant-free mortality) of the acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) classification (no ACLF, ACLF grades 1, 2 and 3) with that of acute kidney injury (AKI) classification (no AKI, AKI stages 1, 2 and 3).
The study was performed in 510 patients with an acute decompensation of cirrhosis previously included in the European Association for the Study of the Liver-Chronic Liver Failure consortium CANONIC study. ACLF was evaluated at enrollment and 48 h after enrollment, and AKI was evaluated at 48 h according to Acute Kidney Injury Network criteria.
240 patients (47.1%) met the criteria of ACLF at enrollment, while 98 patients (19.2%) developed AKI. The presence of ACLF and AKI was strongly associated with mortality. 28-day transplant-free mortality and 90-day transplant-free mortality of patients with ACLF (32% and 49.8%, respectively) were significantly higher with respect to those of patients without ACLF (6.2% and 16.4%, respectively; both p<0.001). Corresponding values in patients with and without AKI were 46% and 59%, and 12% and 25.6%, respectively (p<0.0001 for both). ACLF classification was more accurate than AKI classification in predicting 90-day mortality (area under the receiving operating characteristic curve=0.72 vs 0.62; p<0.0001) in the whole series of patients. Moreover, assessment of ACLF classification at 48 h had significantly better prognostic accuracy compared with that of both AKI classification and ACLF classification at enrollment.
ACLF stratification is more accurate than AKI stratification in the prediction of short-term mortality in patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis.