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Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Sep;52(9):2276-81. Epub 2007 Apr 4.

Increased age, male gender, and cirrhosis, but not steatosis or a positive viral serology, negatively impact the life expectancy of patients who undergo liver biopsy.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79415, USA.


Most survival studies of chronic liver disease avoid including more than one condition, often present in patients with liver disease; survival analysis of patients with liver disease in general was undertaken. Over a 9-year period, the survival experience of 365 patients who underwent liver biopsy, with a median follow-up of 3 years, was assessed. Log rank tests and Cox regression were used to evaluate risk factors. The Flemington-Harrington G(rho) family of tests compared the number of deaths expected in the U.S. population in general, adjusted for age, sex, and year of biopsy, to the observed number of deaths in the patients with cirrhosis and to the observed number of deaths in patients without cirrhosis. Twenty-two (6%) patients died. Cirrhosis (HR = 2.9; 95% c.i.: 1.2-6.7), male sex (HR = 2.7; 95% c.i.: 1.1-6.6), and an additional 20 years of age at biopsy (HR = 2.9; 95% c.i:. 1.4-6.2) each negatively impacted survival. Patients with cirrhosis experienced 4.58 times the number of expected deaths (p < 0.00001). Patients without cirrhosis experienced 1.66 times the number of expected deaths (p = 0.15). Steatosis and a positive viral serology did not increase the risk of death. Male gender, increased age, and cirrhosis increased the risk of death; increased steatosis and positive viral serologic studies did not.

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