Backgrounds & Aims: The clinical severity of cirrhosis varies widely. We investigated whether histological sub-classification of cirrhosis using the Laennec system can discriminate different outcomes among patients with cirrhosis. Methods: One hundred and seventy-five patients with chronic liver disease who underwent liver biopsy and showed stage 3 or 4 fibrosis between January 2001 and December 2008 were prospectively enrolled. Cirrhosis was sub-classified into three groups (4A, 4B, and 4C) according to the Laennec system. The end point was liver-related event (LRE) occurrence, including decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related death. Results: The median age of the patients (110 men, 65 women) was 55 years. Stages 3, 4A, 4B, and 4C were identified in 46 (26.3%), 16 (9.1%), 82 (46.9%), and 31 (17.7%) patients, respectively. During the follow-up period, LREs occurred in 32 (18.3%) patients: 4 (8.7%) with stage 3, 2 (12.5%) with stage 4A, 17 (20.7%) with stage 4B, and 9 (29.0%) with stage 4C. In a multivariate analysis, histological sub-classification of cirrhosis independently predicted LRE occurrence. While patients with stage 4A tended to be at higher risk of LRE occurrence than those with stage 3, patients with stages 4B and 4C had significantly higher risks of LRE occurrence, with hazard ratios of 6.158 (p = 0.016) and 8.945 (p = 0.004), respectively. Conclusions: Histological sub-classification of cirrhosis using the Laennec system can be used to assess the risk of LRE occurrence among patients with cirrhosis. Our study provides a solid basis for further studies of non-invasive methods for monitoring the risk of LRE occurrence and will help physicians to establish optimum treatment strategies.
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