In patients with cirrhosis, infections represent a frequent trigger for complications, increasing frequency of hospitalizations and mortality rate. This study aimed to identify predictors of early readmission (30 days) and of mid-term mortality (6 months) in patients with liver cirrhosis discharged after a hospitalization for bacterial and/or fungal infection.
A total of 199 patients with cirrhosis discharged after an admission for a bacterial and/or fungal infection were included in the study and followed up for a least 6 months.
During follow-up, 69 patients (35%) were readmitted within 30 days from discharge. C-reactive protein (CRP) value at discharge (odds ratio (OR)=1.91; P=0.022), diagnosis of acute-on-chronic liver failure during the hospital stay (OR=2.48; P=0.008), and the hospitalization in the last 30 days previous to the admission/inclusion in the study (OR=1.50; P=0.042) were found to be independent predictors of readmission. During the 6-month follow-up, 47 patients (23%) died. Age (hazard ratio (HR)=1.05;P=0.001), model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) score (HR=1.13;P<0.001), CRP (HR=1.85; P=0.001), refractory ascites (HR=2.22; P=0.007), and diabetes (HR=2.41; P=0.010) were found to be independent predictors of 6-month mortality. Patients with a CRP >10 mg/l at discharge had a significantly higher probability of being readmitted within 30 days (44% vs. 24%; P=0.007) and a significantly lower probability of 6-month survival (62%vs. 88%; P<0.001) than those with a CRP ≤10 mg/l.
CRP showed to be a strong predictor of early hospital readmission and 6-month mortality in patients with cirrhosis after hospitalization for bacterial and/or fungal infection. CRP values could be used both in the stewardship of antibiotic treatment and to identify fragile patients who deserve a strict surveillance program.