METHODS: We identified drugs as precipitants of ACLF among prospective cohort of patients with ACLF from the Asian Pacific Association of Study of Liver (APASL) ACLF Research Consortium (AARC) database. Drugs were considered precipitants after exclusion of known causes together with a temporal association between exposure and decompensation. Outcome was defined as death from decompensation.
RESULTS: Of the 3,132 patients with ACLF, drugs were implicated as a cause in 329 (10.5%, mean age 47 years, 65% men) and other nondrug causes in 2,803 (89.5%) (group B). Complementary and alternative medications (71.7%) were the commonest insult, followed by combination antituberculosis therapy drugs (27.3%). Alcoholic liver disease (28.6%), cryptogenic liver disease (25.5%), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (16.7%) were common causes of underlying liver diseases. Patients with drug-induced ACLF had jaundice (100%), ascites (88%), encephalopathy (46.5%), high Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) (30.2), and Child-Turcotte-Pugh score (12.1). The overall 90-day mortality was higher in drug-induced (46.5%) than in non-drug-induced ACLF (38.8%) (P = 0.007). The Cox regression model identified arterial lactate (P < 0.001) and total bilirubin (P = 0.008) as predictors of mortality.
DISCUSSION: Drugs are important identifiable causes of ACLF in Asia-Pacific countries, predominantly from complementary and alternative medications, followed by antituberculosis drugs. Encephalopathy, bilirubin, blood urea, lactate, and international normalized ratio (INR) predict mortality in drug-induced ACLF.
METHODOLOGY: One thousand two hundred and sixteen prospectively enrolled patients with ACLF (males 98%, mean age 42.5 ± 9.4 years, mean CTP, MELD and AARC scores of 12 ± 1.4, 29.7 ± 7 and 9.8 ± 2 respectively) from the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) ACLF Research Consortium (AARC) database were analysed retrospectively. Patients with or without metabolic risk factors were compared for severity (CTP, MELD, AARC scores) and day 30 and 90 mortality. Information on overweight/obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension and dyslipidaemia were available in 1028 (85%), 1019 (84%), 1017 (84%) and 965 (79%) patients respectively.
RESULTS: Overall, 392 (32%) patients died at day 30 and 528 (43%) at day 90. Overweight/obesity, T2DM, hypertension and dyslipidaemia were present in 154 (15%), 142 (14%), 66 (7%) and 141 (15%) patients, respectively, with no risk factors in 809 (67%) patients. Patients with overweight/obesity had higher MELD scores (30.6 ± 7.1 vs 29.2 ± 6.9, P = .007) and those with dyslipidaemia had higher AARC scores (10.4 ± 1.2 vs 9.8 ± 2, P = .014). Overweight/obesity was associated with increased day 30 mortality (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.06-2.24, P = .023). None of other metabolic risk factors, alone or in combination, had any impact on disease severity or mortality. On multivariate analysis, overweight or obesity was significantly associated with 30-day mortality (aHR 1.91, 95% CI 1.41-2.59, P