Metabolomics as a tool to predict the risk of decompensation or liver-related death in patients with compensated cirrhosis : Hepatology

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Original Articles: Liver Failure/Cirrhosis/Portal Hypertension

Metabolomics as a tool to predict the risk of decompensation or liver-related death in patients with compensated cirrhosis

Nicoară-Farcău, Oana1,2; Lozano, Juan J.3,4; Alonso, Cristina5; Sidorova, Julia3,4; Villanueva, Càndid4,6,7; Albillos, Augustín4,8; Genescà, Joan4,7,9; Llop, Elba4,10; Calleja, Jose L.4,10; Aracil, Carles11; Bañares, Rafael4,12; Morillas, Rosa4,7,13; Poca, Maria4,6; Peñas, Beatriz4,8; Augustin, Salvador4,7,9; Tantău, Marcel2; Thompson, Marcos1,14; Perez-Campuzano, Valeria1; Baiges, Anna1,4; Turon, Fanny1,4; Hernández-Gea, Virginia1,4; Abraldes, Juan G.1,4,15; Tapias, Edilmar A.4,6; Torres, Ferran16,17; Bosch, Jaime1,4,18; García-Pagán, Juan C.1,4;  on behalf of the PreDesCI Study Investigators

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Hepatology 77(6):p 2052-2062, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/HEP.0000000000000316
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Background and Aims: 

Patients with compensated cirrhosis with clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH: HVPG >10 mm Hg) have a high risk of decompensation. HVPG is, however, an invasive procedure not available in all centers. The present study aims to assess whether metabolomics can improve the capacity of clinical models in predicting clinical outcomes in these compensated patients.

Approach and Results: 

This is a nested study from the PREDESCI cohort (an RCT of nonselective beta-blockers vs. placebo in 201 patients with compensated cirrhosis and CSPH), including 167 patients for whom a blood sample was collected. A targeted metabolomic serum analysis, using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, was performed. Metabolites underwent univariate time-to-event cox regression analysis. Top-ranked metabolites were selected using Log-Rank p-value to generate a stepwise cox model. Comparison between models was done using DeLong test. Eighty-two patients with CSPH were randomized to nonselective beta-blockers and 85 to placebo. Thirty-three patients developed the main endpoint (decompensation/liver-related death). The model, including HVPG, Child-Pugh, and treatment received (HVPG/Clinical model), had a C-index of 0.748 (CI95% 0.664–0.827). The addition of 2 metabolites, ceramide (d18:1/22:0) and methionine (HVPG/Clinical/Metabolite model), significantly improved the model’s performance [C-index of 0.808 (CI95% 0.735–0.882); p=0.032]. The combination of these 2 metabolites together with Child-Pugh and the type of treatment received (Clinical/Metabolite model) had a C-index of 0.785 (CI95% 0.710–0.860), not significantly different from the HVPG-based models including or not metabolites.


In patients with compensated cirrhosis and CSPH, metabolomics improves the capacity of clinical models and achieves similar predictive capacity than models including HVPG.


Copyright © 2023 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

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