Risk factors for the development of renal dysfunction in hospitalized patients with cirrhosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hospitalized patients with liver cirrhosis are predisposed to acute renal failure. We sought to identify the role of liver disease severity, infectious complications, and in-hospital treatment with aminoglycosides as risk factors for acute renal failure among patients with cirrhosis.In a retrospective, case-control study at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center, electronic and manual chart review was employed to identify all hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of cirrhosis and normal renal function (serum creatinine < or = 1.3 mg/dl) at the time of hospitalization. Cases were defined as patients who developed renal dysfunction (increase in creatinine of > or = 1.0 mg/dl) within 15 days of hospitalization, and the remaining patients were controls.Of 93 patients, there were 23 cases and 70 controls. There were no significant differences in age, etiology of cirrhosis, serum levels of albumin, or bilirubin, prothrombin time, encephalopathy, bacteremia, urinary tract infection, or occurrence of esophageal variceal bleeding. Patients who developed renal dysfunction were more likely to have ascites (87% vs 41%, p < 0.01), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (44% vs 1%, p < 0.01), and treatment with i.v. aminoglycosides (48% vs 19%, p < 0.01). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, aminoglycosides treatment was a strong risk factor for renal dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio = 4.0, 95% CI = 1.4-11), independent of the severity of liver disease or peritonitis.Avoidance of aminoglycoside antibiotics may reduce the occurrence of renal dysfunction in hospitalized patients with cirrhosis. In addition, close monitoring of renal function should be employed among patients with ascites and/or spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001