BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Several lines of evidence suggest that the hemostatic disorders of cirrhosis may have a significant clinical impact. We investigated the independent predictive value of components of the hemostatic system on the occurrence of ascites, variceal bleeding (VB), and survival.
One hundred and two patients with thrombocytopenia (Child-Pugh class A/B/C: 34/34/34) were enrolled. Platelet counts, factors (F) II, V, VII, and VIII, antithrombin, protein C (PC), FVIII-to-PC ratio as an index of procoagulant imbalance, von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF-Ag), and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) were evaluated. Two multivariate analyses were performed: one excluding (model 1) and one including MELD (model 2).
Higher vWF-Ag levels and FVIII-to-PC ratios were the most prominent hemostatic disorders in patients with cirrhosis. Increased levels of vWF-Ag and FVIII, and higher FVIII-to-PC ratios independently predicted the presence of ascites and varices at baseline. Independent predictors of ascites and VB during follow-up were vWF-Ag (model 1/2: p=0.001/p=0.009 and p=0.008/p=0.01, respectively) and FVIII-to-PC ratio (model 1/2: p=0.003/p=0.02 and p=0.01/p=0.03, respectively). vWF-Ag (model 1/2: p=0.007/p=0.002), FVIII-to-PC ratio (model 1/2: p=0.001/p=0.01), and MELD (p=0.02) independently predicted mortality. Patient groups with significantly higher probability of new-onset ascites, VB, and mortality were identified by certain cut-offs of vWF-Ag (213%, 466%, and 321%, respectively) and FVIII-to-PC ratio (1.99, 3.29, and 2.36, respectively). vWF-Ag and FVIII-to-PC ratio equaled MELD in mortality prediction.
Advanced cirrhosis is characterized by increased thrombotic potential. vWF-Ag and FVIII-to-PC ratio independently predict new-onset ascites, VB, and mortality. Targeting hypercoagulability could improve the outcome of patients with cirrhosis.