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J Hepatol. 1996 Oct;25(4):474-80.

Prognostic value of the galactose test in predicting survival of patients with cirrhosis evaluated for liver transplantation. A prospective multicenter Italian study. AISF Group for the Study of Liver Transplantation. Associazione Italiana per lo Studio del Fegato.

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Istituto di Medicina Interna, Universita di Milano, Italy.



The present study aimed to examine whether the galactose elimination capacity can be used to predict the survival of patients with advanced liver disease. We studied 194 patients with cirrhosis, belonging to Child class B and C, for 2 years each.


The overall probability of survival was 79% at 6 months, 72% at 1 year and 62% at 2 years. Variables significantly associated with the duration of survival, as assessed by univariate analysis, were the Child-Pugh score, presence of ascites, size of esophageal varices, prothrombin time, albumin, bilirubin, urea, creatinine, glucose and galactose elimination capacity. By a multivariable analysis, only Pugh score (p = 0.005), creatinine (p < 0.001), varices (p = 0.001) and galactose elimination capacity (p < 0.001) were independent predictors of mortality. The galactose elimination capacity was even more sensitive when the end-point was limited to deaths due to liver failure and hepatorenal syndrome. A new score obtained by summing the Pugh score with a score derived from galactose elimination capacity was quite simple and accurate for predicting survival.


The quantitative measurement of liver function as the galactose elimination capacity could be of use to identify patients with cirrhosis and probable short survival who might benefit most from urgent transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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