Admission Serum Bicarbonate Predicts Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Hospitalized Cirrhotic Patients

Michael Schopis, Anand Kumar, Michael Parides, Adam Tepler, Samuel Sigal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A low serum bicarbonate (SB) level is predictive of adverse outcomes in kidney injury, infection, and aging. Because the liver plays an important role in acid-base homeostasis and lactic acid metabolism, we speculated that such a relationship would exist for patients with cirrhosis. To assess the prognostic value of admission SB on adverse hospital outcomes, clinical characteristics were extracted and analyzed from a large electronic health record system. Patients were categorized based on admission SB (mEq/L) into 7 groups based on the reference range (22-25) into mildly (18-21), moderately (14-17), and severely (<14) decreased groups and mildly (26-29), moderately (30-33), and severely (>30) increased groups, and the relationship of SB category with the frequency of complications (acute kidney injury/hepatorenal syndrome, portosystemic encephalopathy, gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis) and hospital metrics (length of stay [LOS], admission to an intensive care unit [ICU], and mortality) was assessed. A total of 2,693 patients were analyzed. Mean SB was 22.9 ± 4.5 mEq/L. SB was within the normal range (22-25 mEq/L) in 1,072 (39.8%) patients, and 955 patients (36%) had a low SB. As the SB category decreased, the incidence of complications progressively increased (p<0.001). Increased MELD-Na score and low serum albumin also correlated with frequency of complications (p<0.001). As the SB category decreased, LOS, ICU admission, and mortality progressively increased (p<0.001). On multivariate analysis, the association of decreased SB with higher odds of complications, LOS, ICU admission, and mortality persisted. Conclusion. Low admission SB in patients with cirrhosis is associated with cirrhotic complications, longer LOS, increased ICU admissions, and increased hospital mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9915055
JournalCanadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume2021
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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