Steroid use in acute liver failure.
Hepatology. 2013 Aug 8;
Authors: Karkhanis J, Verna EC, Chang MS, Stravitz RT, Schilsky M, Lee WM, Brown RS, the Acute Liver Failure Study Group
Background/Aims: Drug-induced and indeterminate Acute Liver Failure (ALF) might be due to an autoimmune-like hepatitis that is responsive to corticosteroid therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether corticosteroids improve survival in fulminant autoimmune hepatitis, drug-induced or indeterminate ALF, and whether this benefit varies according to the severity of illness. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of autoimmune, indeterminate and drug-induced ALF patients in the Acute Liver Failure Study Group from 1998-2007. The primary endpoints were overall and spontaneous survival (SS, survival without transplant). Results: 361 ALF patients were studied, 66 with autoimmune (25 steroids, 41 no steroids), 164 with indeterminate (21 steroids, 143 no steroids), and 131 with drug-induced (16 steroids, 115 no steroids) ALF. Steroid use was not associated with improved overall survival (61% vs. 66%, p=0.41), nor with improved survival in any diagnosis category. Steroid use was associated with diminished survival in certain subgroups of patients, including those with the highest quartile of MELD (MELD > 40, survival 30% vs. 57%, p=0.03). In multivariable analysis controlling for steroid use and diagnosis, age (OR 1.37 per decade), coma grade (OR 2.02 grade 2, 2.65 grade 3, 5.29 grade 4), MELD (OR 1.07) and pH<7.4 (OR 3.09) were significantly associated with mortality. Though steroid use was associated with a marginal benefit in SS overall (35% v. 23%, p=0.047), this benefit did not persistent in multivariable analysis; mechanical ventilation (OR 0.24), MELD (OR 0.93), and ALT (1.02) were the only significant predictors of SS. Conclusions: Corticosteroids did not improve overall survival or SS in drug-induced, indeterminate or autoimmune ALF and were associated with lower survival in patients with the highest MELD scores. (Hepatology 2013;).
PMID: 23929808 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]Link to Article at PubMed