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Hepatology. 1995 Apr;21(4):979-85.

Plasma calprotectin: a new prognostic marker of survival in alcohol-induced cirrhosis.

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Department of Medicine B, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Plasma levels of calprotectin were determined in 84 patients with alcohol-induced cirrhosis. Calprotectin is released from disintegrating neutrophils, and plasma levels seem to reflect activation and turnover of such cells. The purpose of the study was to investigate the degree of activation of neutrophils, which has been indicated to be increased and a cause of neutrophil exhaustion in these patients. Additionally, on follow-up after a median observation period of 559 days, we investigated the prognostic value of calprotectin for survival. No difference was found in calprotectin levels when comparing healthy controls with patients with compensated cirrhosis and those with decompensated cirrhosis. However, high calprotectin concentrations (> median) were a significant prognostic marker of poor survival (P = .001, log-rank test). Using a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, the prognostic value of calprotectin seemed independent of severity of liver disease evaluated on eight clinical and biochemical variables of liver disease. Divided into groups by the median calprotectin concentration, analysis of survival was performed in the whole series of patients (n = 84) as well as in patients who were completely without signs of recent or actual infection (n = 54). In both groups, calprotectin levels (> median) showed a much higher prognostic value than albumin, prothrombin complex, bilirubin, and ascites. During follow-up, calprotectin levels (> median) were also a predictor of recurrent infection (P = .009). Thus, in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, plasma calprotectin seems to be a new prognostic marker of survival, which seems independent of the severity of liver disease.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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