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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997 Sep;32(9):942-6.

Prognostic value of plasma endotoxin levels in patients with cirrhosis.

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  • 1Dept. of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taiwan.



Endotoxemia has frequently been observed in patients with cirrhosis. Previous studies have shown that cirrhotic patients with endotoxemia have a higher mortality than those without. We evaluated the clinical value of plasma endotoxin level in predicting short-term (3 months) and long-term (2 years) survival among cirrhotic patients and compared it with the Child-Pugh score.


Plasma endotoxin levels were determined in 102 cirrhotic patients without clinical evidence of infection by a quantitative Limulus assay. The patients were followed up for 3 months to assess short-term survival and for 2 years for long-term survival.


Plasma endotoxin levels increased progressively as liver function deteriorated. In short-term survival analysis, plasma endotoxin levels were significantly higher in non-survivors than those in survivors (10.6 +/- 2.2 pg/ml versus 5.8 +/- 0.5 pg/ml; P < 0.05). Both plasma endotoxin and serum bilirubin levels, but not the Child-Pugh score, were significant factors in predicting short-term survival in multivariate analysis. In long-term survival analysis, plasma endotoxin levels did not differ significantly between survivors and non-survivors (6.1 +/- 0.6 pg/ml versus 7.3 +/- 1.1 pg/ml; P > 0.05) and was not an independent predictor of long-term survival. In contrast, both Child-Pugh score and serum bilirubin levels were significant predictors of long-term survival in multivariate analysis.


In patients with cirrhosis, plasma endotoxin levels progressively increase as liver function deteriorates and may be useful in predicting short-term survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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