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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Nov;33(11):1213-8.

Prognostic value of progressive decrease in serum cholesterol in predicting survival in Child-Pugh C viral cirrhosis.

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  • 1Dept. of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University Federico II of Naples, Italy.



The identification of cirrhotic patients with low life expectancy is an open clinical problem. Hypocholesterolemia is frequently found in severe chronic hepatic insufficiency because the liver is the most active site of cholesterol metabolism, but poor information is available on its precise prognostic value. We evaluated the prognostic role of hypocholesterolemia in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis.


Serial serum cholesterol concentrations of 34 patients with virus-induced cirrhosis, from the first appearance of Child-Pugh class C to death, were considered. To compare survival functions, we established three base-line cholesterol cut-off points (150, 125, and 100 mg/dl) and stratified patients into groups A and B, with base-line cholesterol levels lower and higher than each cut-off value, respectively.


Cholesterolemia decreased progressively in all patients. At the 100 mg/dl cut-off point all group-A patients died within 17 months, whereas 75% of group-B patients were alive at 24 months (P < 0.0001). Moreover, cholesterolemia was significantly correlated with cholinesterase, indirect bilirubin, and total bilirubin at entry time and immediately before death. No correlation was observed between cholesterol and these variables when stratified for the Child-Pugh score.


Base-line serum cholesterol levels lower than 100 mg/dl identify a subgroup of Child-C cirrhotic patients with high mortality risk within a 2-year follow-up. The prognostic importance of cholesterolemia may also be deduced by the significant correlation with other well-established indicators of survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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