Extra-hepatic comorbidity burden significantly increases 90-day mortality in patients with cirrhosis and high model for endstage liver disease

Scott Coppel, Karan Mathur, Burcin Ekser, Kavish R. Patidar, Eric Orman, Archita P. Desai, Eduardo Vilar-Gomez, Chandrashekhar Kubal, Naga Chalasani, Lauren Nephew, Marwan Ghabril

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5 Scopus citations


Background: We examined how extra-hepatic comorbidity burden impacts mortality in patients with cirrhosis referred for liver transplantation (LT). Methods: Adults with cirrhosis evaluated for their first LT in 2012 were followed through their clinical course with last follow up in 2019. Extra-hepatic comorbidity burden was measured using the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). The endpoints were 90-day transplant free survival (Cox-Proportional Hazard regression), and overall mortality (competing risk analysis). Results: The study included 340 patients, mean age 56 ± 11, 63% male and MELD-Na 17.2 ± 6.6. The CCI was 0 (no comorbidities) in 44%, 1-2 in 44% and > 2 (highest decile) in 12%, with no differences based on gender but higher CCI in patients with fatty and cryptogenic liver disease. Thirty-three (10%) of 332 patients not receiving LT within 90 days died. Beyond MELD-Na, the CCI was independently associated with 90-day mortality (hazard ratio (HR), 1.32 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.72). Ninety-day mortality was specifically increased with higher CCI category and MELD ≥18 (12% (CCI = 0), 22% (CCI = 1-2) and 33% (CCI > 2), (p = 0.002)) but not MELD-Na ≤17. At last follow-up, 69 patients were alive, 100 underwent LT and 171 died without LT. CCI was associated with increased overall mortality in the competing risk analysis (Sub-HR 1.24, 95%CI 1.1-1.4). Conclusions: Extra-hepatic comorbidity burden significantly impacts short-term mortality in patients with cirrhosis and high MELD-Na. This has implications in determining urgency of LT and mortality models in cirrhosis and LT waitlisting, especially with an ageing population with increasing prevalence of fatty liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number302
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020


  • Charlson comorbidity index
  • Cirrhosis
  • Comorbidity
  • Liver transplantation
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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