The significance of C-reactive protein to albumin ratio in patients with decompensated cirrhosis

Authors Theodora Oikonomou, Ioannis Goulis, Stefania Kiapidou, Nikoletta Tagkou, Evangelos Akriviadis, George Papatheodoridis, Evangelos Cholongitas.


Background Prognostic indicators in patients with decompensated cirrhosis are vital for the estimation of death risk. The ratio of C-reactive protein to albumin (CAR) has been verified as a prognostic marker in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and decompensated cirrhosis related to hepatitis B virus. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), and gamma globulins have been separately studied in cirrhosis. We evaluated the predictive role of CAR and other inflammatory markers in decompensated patients.

Methods We prospectively studied 159 patients with stable decompensated cirrhosis, calculating the following indexes: CAR, NLR, LMR, Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP), and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD).

Results MELD (area under the curve [AUC] 0.814) and CTP score (AUC 0.752) were superior to the other markers above in predicting patients’ mortality (P<0.05). Patients with CAR<2.17 (median value) presented better times of survival: 20 months (12-27) vs. 14 months (10-17) (log rank P=0.015). NLR and LMR barely discriminated patients’ prognosis. In multivariate analysis, only MELD and CTP scores were significant risk factors, whether using the proposed cutoff of 1.3 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.17 [1.106-2.44], P<0.001) or the median 2.17 CAR categorical variable (HR 1.17 [1.104-1.243], P<0.001). When patients who underwent liver transplantation were excluded, apart from the MELD and CTP scores CAR 2.17 was the only significant factor associated with the outcome (HR 3.61 [0.96-13.6], P=0.05) and detected different survival times: 10 (1-48) vs. 11 (2-38) months, log rank P=0.003. Patients with LMR≥1.9 presented significantly better renal function, in terms of true glomerular filtration rate (80±34 vs. 64±33 mL/min, P=0.004) and creatinine levels: 0.84 (0.1-1.8) vs. 0.98 (0.59-3.3) mg/dL (P=0.001).

Conclusion Our findings demonstrate the significance of CAR and LMR in the outcome and renal function of decompensated patients.

Keywords CRP-to-albumin ratio, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio, gamma globulins, decompensated cirrhosis

Ann Gastroenterol 2020; 33 (6): 667-674

Original Articles