The 1-year and 3-month prognostic utility of the AST/ALT ratio and model for end-stage liver disease score in patients with viral liver cirrhosis

Edoardo Giannini, Federica Botta, Emanuela Testa, Paola Romagnoli, Simone Polegato, Federica Malfatti, Alessandra Fumagalli, Bruno Chiarbonello, Domenico Risso, Roberto Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The AST/ALT ratio has shown good diagnostic accuracy in patients with chronic viral liver disease. However, its prognostic utility has never been tested. Recently, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) has been proposed as a simple and effective tool to predict survival in patients with liver cirrhosis. The aims of this study were to assess the 3-month and 1-yr prognostic ability of the AST/ALT ratio in a series of patients with virus-related liver cirrhosis, and to evaluate the relationship between the AST/ALT ratio and the MELD score and to compare their prognostic ability. METHODS: The AST/ALT ratios and MELD scores of 99 patients with liver cirrhosis of viral etiology (73 patients with hepatitis C virus and 26 with hepatitis B virus) who had been followed-up for at least 1 yr were retrospectively calculated and correlated with the patients' 3-month and 1-yr prognosis. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine the AST/ALT ratio and the MELD score cut-offs with the best sensitivity (SS) and specificity (SP) in discriminating between patients who survived and those who died. Univariate survival curves were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method using the cut-offs identified by means of receiver operating characteristic curves. RESULTS: AST/ALT ratios and MELD scores showed a significant correlation (rs = 0.503, p = 0.0001). In all, 8% and 30% of the patients had died after 3 months and 1 yr of follow-up, respectively. AST/ALT ratios and MELD scores were significantly higher among the patients who died during both 3-month and 1-yr follow-up. An AST/ALT ratio cut-off of 1.17 had 87% SS and 52% SP, whereas a MELD cut-off of 9 had 57% SS and 74% SP in discriminating between patients who survived and those who died after 1 yr. The combined assessment of the AST/ALT ratio and/or MELD score had 90% SS and 78% SP. Survival curves of the patients showed that both parameters clearly discriminated between patients who survived and those who died in the short term (AST/ALT ratio, p = 0.0094; MELD score, p = 0.0089) as well as in the long term (AST/ALT ratio, p <0.0005; MELD score, p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with virus-related cirrhosis, the AST/ALT ratio has prognostic capability that is not significantly different from that of an established prognostic score such as MELD. Combined assessment of the two parameters increases the medium-term prognostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2855-2860
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume97
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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