New prognostic score based on galectin-3 has similar performance to model for end-stage liver disease and sodium score in patients with stable decompensated cirrhosis

Authors Theodora Oikonomou, Afroditi Orfanidou, Ioannis Goulis, Fani Ntogramatzi, Zoi Athanasiadou, George V. Papatheodoridis, Evangelos Cholongitas.


Background Galectin-3 (gal-3) has been proposed as a marker of established renal impairment, with predictive value in stable decompensated cirrhosis.

Methods 150 stable decompensated patients were assessed in 2 transplant centers. Patients’ renal function was assessed using 51Chromium-EDTA (“true” glomerular filtration rate). We measured basic laboratory variables and gal-3 in serum samples. Factors associated with patients’ outcomes were determined.

Results Our patients were followed up for 12 months (range 1-48, interquartile range [IQR] 6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 10-13.5) and their mean prognostic scores were Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) 7±2 and model for end-stage liver disease and sodium (MELD-Na) 15±6. Median gal-3 levels were 22 ng/mL. In a multivariate analysis of 94 patients (training group), gal-3 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.026, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.011-1.041; P=0.003) and serum sodium (HR 1.032, 95%CI 1.006- 1.062; P=0.05) were the only factors independently associated with patients’ outcomes. Kaplan-Meier analysis using the median gal-3 values revealed different times of survival (log-rank P=0.006). We derived a new prognostic score, (0.026) × serum gal-3+ (-0.079) × serum sodium, with very good discriminative accuracy for the outcome (area under the curve [AUC] 0.71, 95%CI 0.63-0.88), similar to that of the MELD-Na score (AUC 0.69, 95%CI 0.67-0.89; P=0.73), while its diagnostic accuracy was validated in the remaining 56 decompensated patients (AUC 0.81, 95%CI 0.65-0.97).

Conclusions Gal-3 proved to be an accurate and plausible biomarker of renal dysfunction in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. A new prognostic model incorporating gal-3 and sodium was derived, with very good discriminative accuracy for the outcome.

Keywords Decompensated cirrhosis, galectin-3, renal function, liver cirrhosis, prognostic scores

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (5): 728-735

Original Articles