Background and Aims: Risk factors for mortality and re-bleeding following acute variceal hemorrhage are incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for 6-week mortality, and rebleeding within 5-days in patients with cirrhosis and acute variceal hemorrhage.
Methods: Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were used to determine risk factors among 256 patients with acute variceal hemorrhage entered into a randomized , prospective trial.
Results: Thirty-five patients (14%) died within 6-weeks of AVH; 14 deaths (40%) occurred within 5 days. Only the Model for End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score and units of packed red blood cells (PRBCs) transfused in the first 24-hours were associated with 6-week mortality univariately (HR-1.11,p<.001; HR 1.22, P<.001) and bivariately (HR MELD=1.10, p<0.001; HR per unit of PRBCs transfused=1.15, p=0.005). Rebleeding within 5-days occurred in 37 patients (15%); MELD score (P = .01)and a clot on a varix (P=.05) predicted rebleeding. Patients with MELD score (≥18); both MELD score ≥18 and ≥4 units PRBCs transfused ; both MELD score ≥18 and active bleeding at index endoscopy; and variceal re-bleeding had increased risk of death 6-weeks post-AVH (HR=7.4, p<0.001; 11.3, p<0.001; 9.9, P < .0002; 10.2, p< 0.0001 respectively).
Conclusions: Patients with acute variceal hemorrhage and MELD score ≥ 18, requiring ≥4 units PRBCs within the first 24 hours or with active bleeding at endoscopy, are at increased risk of dying within 6-weeks. MELD score ≥18 is a also strong predictor of variceal rebleeding within the first 5-days.
- Child-Pugh class
- portal hypertension
- survival models