NASH Is the Most Rapidly Growing Etiology for Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure-Related Hospitalization and Disease Burden in the United States: A Population-Based Study

Page Axley, Zunirah Ahmed, Sumant Arora, Allen Haas, Yong Fang Kuo, Patrick S. Kamath, Ashwani K. Singal

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3 Scopus citations


Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is characterized by multiple organ failure (OF) with high short-term mortality. There is lack of population-based data on trends on etiology specific ACLF related burden. National Inpatient Sample (2006-2014) was queried using ICD-09 codes for admissions with cirrhosis and ACLF (≥2 extrahepatic OF). Of 1,928,764 admissions for cirrhosis between 2006 and 2014, 112,174 (5.9%) had ACLF (4.5%, 1.2%, and 0.2% with ACLF 1, 2, and 3, respectively). The brain was the most common OF in 11.9%, followed by respiratory failure in 7.7%, cardiac failure in 6.3%, and renal failure in 5.6%. ACLF increased by 24% between 2006 and 2014 with a 63% increase in 179,104 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis (3.5% to 5.7%); a 28% increase in patients with 429,306 alcoholic cirrhosis (5.6% to 7.2%); a 25% increase in patients with 1,091,053 with other etiologies (5.2% to 6.5%); and no significant change in 229,301 patients with viral hepatitis (VH) (4.0% to 4.1%). In-hospital mortality was higher among ACLF patients compared with patients without ACLF (44% versus 4.7%; P < 0.0001). Each NASH-related ACLF patient compared with other etiologies had a longer mean length of stay (14 versus 12 days), was associated with higher median total charges (US $151,196 versus US $134,597), and had more frequent use of dialysis (45% versus 36%) and longterm care (32% versus 26%; P < 0.0001 for all). Results remained similar in a subgroup analysis after including half of admissions with cryptogenic cirrhosis as NASH. In conclusion, NASH cirrhosis is the most rapidly growing indication for ACLF-related hospitalization and use of hospital resources. In the setting of improved treatment options for chronic hepatitis, the health care burden of chronic viral-related liver disease remains stable. Population-based strategies are needed to reduce the health care burden of cirrhosis, particularly related to NASH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-705
Number of pages11
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation

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