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Development of a novel clinical staging model for cirrhosis using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample
  1. Mona Haj,
  2. Mary Hart,
  3. Don C Rockey
  1. Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charelston, South Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Don C Rockey, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA; rockey{at}


Scoring systems such as Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) and Child-Pugh are often used by clinicians to determine prognosis in patients with cirrhosis. Since clinical complications are important in determining cirrhosis outcomes, our goal was to use these to develop a novel prognostic staging model. Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), years 2003–2011, were queried for records of patients over the age of 18 with cirrhosis excluding patients with prior or inpatient liver transplantation. The primary outcome was inpatient mortality with focus on cirrhosis-related complications: non-bleeding esophageal varices, variceal hemorrhage, ascites, hepatic encephalopathy (HE), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Of 59 862 903 hospitalizations, 824 783 (1.4%) with cirrhosis were identified. Overall mortality was 7% with two-thirds (66%) of deaths occurring in patients with a decompensating event, defined as variceal hemorrhage, ascites, HE, SBP, and/or HRS. Overall mortality rates decreased from 2003 to 2011 (9.0–6.0%), in both compensated and decompensated groups. Mortality was higher in patients with variceal haemorrhage (OR 1.56; p<0.05), HE (OR 1.75; p<0.05), SBP (OR 2.64; p<0.05) and HRS (OR 9.10; p<0.05) compared with patients with no complications. HRS had the highest mortality, whether alone or in combination with another event such as HE (OR 12.40; p<0.05) or SBP (OR 12.64; p<0.05). Cirrhosis inpatient outcomes are related to the severity of liver disease, with more severe complications such as HE, SBP, and HRS having the most significant effect on inpatient mortality, and are utilised in this novel four-stage clinical model.

  • liver
  • liver diseases
  • liver failure

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  • Contributors MH and DCR were responsible for the study concept and design, analysis and interpretation of data, drafting of the manuscript and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. MH was responsible for the acquisition of data. MAH was involoved in the analysis and interpretation of data and statistical analyses. DCR supervised the activities.

  • Funding This project was internally funded by the Medical University of South Carolina Department of Medicine: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, approved the research protocol before beginning this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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