The Metabolic Syndrome Is Not Correlated with the Short-term Risk of Decompensation in Patients with Cirrhosis
Background & Aims: Obesity proved to favor clinical decompensation in patients with cirrhosis. Our aim was to investigate if metabolic syndrome (MS) in cirrhotic patients represents a risk factor for decompensation.
Methods: 704 cirrhotics, included in a MS prevalence study were considered for evaluation; 121 patients were excluded because they did not complete the follow-up and 303 because they were decompensated at the start of the study. The remaining 280 were followed-up for a median period of 28.1±18 months. Patients were censored at the end of follow-up or at occurrence of a liver related event (LRE). Liver related events were considered the following: decompensation (ascites, variceal bleeding, hepatorenal syndrome, jaundice, encephalopathy), hepatocellular carcinoma, portal vein thrombosis and infections.
Results: All MS criteria except the abdominal circumference were significantly different between decompensated and compensated patients. HDL-cholesterol levels were lower in decompensated patients. Among the 280 patients who completed the follow-up, 85 (30%) presented LREs. Ascites was the most frequent event. In the univariate analysis of the MS criteria we found a trend to significance of an inverse correlation between MS and LREs. There was no significant difference between patients with or without MS regarding survival free of LREs, 76.7% and 66.5%, respectively. None of the MS criteria reached the level of significance in discriminating patients with and without LREs.
Conclusions: In short term, presence of MS was not a risk factor for LREs. In short term, liver function and lower nutritional status influenced the prognosis. In decompensated patients, the MS defining criteria are not applicable.
Abbreviations: BMI: body mass index; EV: esophageal varices; HR: hazard ration; HVPG: hepatic venous pressure gradient; LRE: liver related event; MS: metabolic syndrome; PHT: portal hypertension; WC: waist circumference.