Relationship between 13C-aminopyrine breath test and the MELD score and its long-term prognostic use in patients with cirrhosis

Edoardo G. Giannini, Vincenzo Savarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: 13C-Aminopyrine breath test (13C-ABT) is a non-invasive, dynamic, quantitative liver function test, and the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) is a recognised biochemical score used to predict survival in patients with cirrhosis. Aims: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the 13C-ABT and MELD score in a cohort of cirrhotic patients and, moreover, to assess the prognostic value of 13C-ABT results in the same group of patients. Patients and Methods: Forty-six patients with cirrhosis and without hepatocellular carcinoma who underwent 13C-ABT and who had at least 1-year follow-up were prospectively included in this study. MELD score was calculated at entry into the study in all patients. End-points of the study were 1-year liver-related death or liver transplantation. Results: 13C-ABT %dose/h at 30 min (%dose/h30) results showed significant, inverse correlation with MELD scores (r = -0.414, P = 0.004). During 1-year follow-up nine patients died (19.6 %) and two were transplanted (4.3 %). Median 13C-ABT %dose/h30 results (3.2 vs. 1.8) were significantly higher in patients who survived as compared to those who died or underwent transplantation (P = 0.04). Receiver operating characteristics curves showed that a 13C-ABT %dose/h30 cut-off of 2.0 had the best accuracy (c-index = 0.717) in assessing 1-year prognosis. Conclusions: We observed a correlation between a flow-independent quantitative liver function test and the MELD score, and found that the 13C-ABT may accurately provide long-term prognostic information in cirrhotic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3024-3028
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Aminopyrine breath test
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver function
  • MELD score
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)


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