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Bacterial infection in compensated viral cirrhosis impairs 5-year survival (ANRS CO12 CirVir prospective cohort)


Objective To assess incidence and prognostic significance of bacterial infections (BIs) occurring in compensated viral cirrhosis.

Design This prospective study involved 35 French centres. Inclusion criteria were biopsy-proven HCV or HBV cirrhosis, Child–Pugh A and no previous hepatic complications. Cumulative incidence (CumI) of events was estimated in a competing risks framework.

Results 1672 patients were enrolled (HCV 1323, HBV 318, HCV-HBV 31). During a median follow-up of 43 months, 234 BIs occurred in 171 patients (5 year CumI: 12.9%), among whom 14.6% had septic shock. Main localisations included the urinary tract (27.4%), lung (25.2%) and peritoneum (10.7%) (other, 86 (36.7%)). Most BIs occurred as a first event prior to liver decompensation (n=140, 81.8%) and were community-acquired (CA, 84.2%). The risk of BI was higher in patients with HCV than in patients with HBV (5 year CumI: 15.2% vs 5.5%, p=0.0008). Digestive localisation, concomitant interferon-based treatment, isolation of resistant bacteria and non-CA BIs were associated with lowest probability of resolution. The occurrence of a first BI impaired survival in patients infected with HCV (5 year survival: 60.2% vs 90.4%, p<0.001) and patients infected with HBV (5 year survival: 69.2% vs 97.6%, p<0.001). BIs represented the third cause of death (14.1%) after liver failure and liver cancer. BI risk factors comprised older age, lower albumin, proton pump inhibitor intake and absence of virological eradication/control.

Conclusion BI mostly occurs as a first complication and represents a turning point in the course of compensated viral cirrhosis. Its occurrence impacts long-term prognosis and may define a subgroup of patients in whom adaptation of management is warranted.


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