Association of serum albumin level with incidence and mortality of overt hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhosis during hospitalization

Zhaohui Bai, Xiaozhong Guo, Frank Tacke, Yingying Li, Hongyu Li, Xingshun Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a serious complication of cirrhosis. Decreased serum albumin (ALB) level may facilitate the development of HE and accelerate the death of cirrhotic patients with HE. Recent evidence also suggests that human albumin infusion may reduce the incidence of HE and improve the outcomes of cirrhotic patients. This study aimed to explore the association of serum ALB level with the development of overt HE and HE-associated mortality during hospitalization. Methods: Cirrhotic patients admitted to our hospital between January 2010 and February 2019 were screened. Independent predictors for HE were identified by logistic regression analyses. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was calculated. Area under curve (AUC) was calculated by receiver operator characteristic curve analyses. Results: Of the 2376 included patients with cirrhosis but without HE at admission, 113 (4.8%) developed overt HE during hospitalizations. ALB level (OR = 0.878, 95% CI = 0.834–0.924) was an independent risk factor for development of overt HE. AUC of ALB level for predicting the development of overt HE was 0.770 (95% CI = 0.752–0.787, p < 0.0001), and the best cut-off value was ⩽31.6 g/l. Of the 183 included patients with cirrhosis and overt HE at admission, 20 (10.9%) died during hospitalizations. ALB level (OR = 0.864, 95% CI = 0.771–0.967) was an independent risk factor for death from overt HE. The AUC of ALB level for predicting death from overt HE was 0.737 (95% CI = 0.667–0.799, p = 0.0001), and the best cut-off value was ⩽22.8 g/l. Conclusions: Decreased serum ALB level may be associated with higher risk of overt HE and HE-associated mortality during hospitalizations in cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • albumin
  • cirrhosis
  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • incidence
  • mortality

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