PloS one 2018 02 1413(2) e0192393 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0192393
We aimed to describe changes in survival in alcoholic hepatitis (AH) over time by examining published data.
A systematic literature search of Ovid Embase and PubMed was undertaken using the MESH terms ‘hepatitis, alcoholic’ to identify randomised controlled trials (RCT) and observational studies (OS) in alcoholic hepatitis. Data were extracted from included studies regarding 28-day, 90-day, 180-day mortality, as well as biochemical and clinical data.
After review of the literature search results, 77 studies published between 1971 and 2016 were analysed, which included data from a total of 8,184 patients. Overall mortality from AH was 26% at 28 days, 29% at 90 days and 44% at 180 days after admission. No changes in mortality over time were observed in univariable analysis at 28 days or 90 days after admission (Pearson correlation r -0.216, p = 0.098, and r 0.121 p = 0.503 respectively). A small but statistically significant increase in mortality was seen in 180-day mortality (r 0.461 p = 0.036). However, after meta-regression to adjust for other factors associated with mortality at each time point, no changes in mortality were seen. Sub-group analysis did not reveal any changes in mortality over time in different study types, or when only biopsy-proven or severe disease were considered.
There has been no improvement in mortality from AH. This is not explained by changes in severity of disease. This emphasises the urgent need for effective treatments for this alcoholic hepatitis.