Background/Aims: Acute hepatic dysfunction combined with alcoholic hepatitis (AH) in alcoholic cirrhosis is related to hepatic hypo-perfusion secondary to intrahepatic necroinflammation, neoangiogenesis, and shunt. The hepatic vein arrival time (HVAT) assessed by microbubble contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) is closely correlated with the severity of intrahepatic changes. We investigated the usefulness of HVAT to predict short-term mortality of AH in cirrhosis. Methods: Thirty-nine patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (27 males) and AH were prospectively enrolled. HVAT study was performed within 3 days after admission using ultrasonic contrast (SonoVue®). The primary outcome was 12-week mortality. Results: Twelve-week mortality developed in nine patients. HVAT was significantly different between the mortality and survival groups (9.3±2.0 seconds vs 12.6±3.5 seconds, p=0.002). The odds ratio of a shortened HVAT for 12-week mortality was 1.481 (95% confidence interval, 1.050–2.090; p=0.025). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of HVAT for 12-week mortality was 0.787 (p=0.010). The combination of MDF and HVAT ≥11.0 seconds resulted in an 87.5% survival rate even if the MDF score ≥32; however, HVAT <11.0 seconds was related with mortality despite a MDF score<32. Conclusions: HVAT using microbubble CEUS could be a useful additional index to predict short-term mortality in patients with AH and cirrhosis.
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