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J Gastroenterol. 2002;37(12):1028-34.

Risk factors for infections in cirrhotic patients with and without hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Health Service Center, Showa University, 1-4-5 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan.



Patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) frequently have complications with bacterial infections, and these infections increase the mortality rate. However, a detailed analysis of infections associated with LC patients has not yet been performed.


We analyzed 325 patients with LC with and without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who were hospitalized between 1997 and 1999.


Infections developed in 70 (21.5%) patients and 48 (68.6%) of these developed infections during hospitalization. The mortality rate of 28.6% (20/70) in patients with infectious complications was higher than that of 12.5% (32/255) in patients without infectious complications. Forty (57.1%) of the 70 patients had infections of unknown causes; 11 (15.7%) had sepsis; 6 (8.6%) had intravenous hyperalimentation (IVH) infection; 3 (4.3%) each had spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), liver abscess, and cholecystitis; and 4 (5.7%) had other infections. Bacterial cultures of blood were prepared from 73 of the 325 patients (22.5%), and were positive in 22 of the 73 patients (30.1%). Of these 22 culture-positive patients, 11 had sepsis, 6 had IVH infection, 2 had liver abscess, 1 had cholecystitis, 1 had pneumonia, and 1 had decubitus ulcer. Gram-positive bacterial strains were detected most frequently, in 16 of the 24 strains isolated. Univariate analysis revealed significant differences between the groups with and without infectious complications with regard to hepatitis B virus infection, Child-Pugh classification, ascites, esophageal varices, survival rate, total-bilirubin (T-Bil), albumin (Alb), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), total cholesterol (T-chol), and prothrombin time (PT). On multivariate analysis, the Alb level was selected as a significant independent factor contributing to the development of infections.


Patients with advanced cirrhosis with low Alb levels should be carefully treated, and the administration of broad spectrum antibiotics covering gram-positive bacteria needs to be considered in the treatment of infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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