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Comparison of mortality risk in patients with cirrhosis and COVID-19 compared with patients with cirrhosis alone and COVID-19 alone: multicentre matched cohort


Objective Comorbid conditions are associated with poor prognosis in COVID-19. Registry data show that patients with cirrhosis may be at high risk. However, outcome comparisons among patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 versus patients with COVID-19 alone and cirrhosis alone are lacking. The aim of this study was to perform these comparisons.

Design A multicentre study of inpatients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 compared with age/gender-matched patients with COVID-19 alone and cirrhosis alone was performed. COVID-19 and cirrhosis characteristics, development of organ failures and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) and mortality (inpatient death+hospice) were compared.

Results 37 patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 were matched with 108 patients with COVID-19 and 127 patients with cirrhosis from seven sites. Race/ethnicity were similar. Patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 had higher mortality compared with patients with COVID-19 (30% vs 13%, p=0.03) but not between patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 and patients with cirrhosis (30% vs 20%, p=0.16). Patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 versus patients with COVID-19 alone had equivalent respiratory symptoms, chest findings and rates of intensive care unit transfer and ventilation. However, patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 had worse Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI 6.5±3.1 vs 3.3±2.5, p<0.001), lower presenting GI symptoms and higher lactate. Patients with cirrhosis alone had higher cirrhosis-related complications, maximum model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and lower BiPAP/ventilation requirement compared with patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19, but CCI and ACLF rates were similar. In the entire group, CCI (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.37, p<0.0001) was the only variable predictive of mortality on multivariable regression.

Conclusions In this multicentre North American contemporaneously enrolled study, age/gender-matched patients with cirrhosis+COVID-19 had similar mortality compared with patients with cirrhosis alone but higher than patients with COVID-19 alone. CCI was the only independent mortality predictor in the entire matched cohort.

  • cirrhosis
  • liver cirrhosis
  • chronic liver disease
  • sepsis
  • infectious disease

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