Could Adherence to Quality of Care Indicators for Hospitalized Patients with Cirrhosis-Related Ascites Improve Clinical Outcomes?

Suong Le, Tim Spelman, Chia-Pei Chong, Phil Ha, Lukas Sahhar, Julian Lim, Tony He, Neel Heerasing, William Sievert

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24 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES:The diagnosis of cirrhotic ascites is associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and reduced health-related quality of life. Adherence by health professionals to quality indicators (QIs) of care for ascites is low. We evaluated the effect of adherence to ascites QIs on clinical outcomes for patients hospitalized with new onset cirrhotic ascites.METHODS:The medical records of 302 patients admitted with new onset cirrhotic ascites were interrogated for demographic and clinical data and adherence to eight Delphi panel-derived QIs for ascites management. Associations between adherence to each QI and 30-day emergent readmission and 90-day mortality were analyzed.RESULTS:The majority of patients were males (68.9%) over 50 years of age (mean 57±12.83 years) with alcohol-related cirrhosis (59%). Twenty-nine percent were readmitted within 30 days. Patients who received an abdominal paracentesis within 30 days of ascites diagnosis (QI 1, relative risk (RR) 0.41, P=0.004) or during index hospitalization (QI 2, RR 0.57, P=0.006) were significantly less likely to experience a 30-day emergent readmission. Baseline serum bilirubin >2.5 mg/dl was associated with increased 30-day cirrhosis-related readmission (RR 1.51, P=0.03). A total of 18.5% of patients died within 90 days of index admission; median interval to death was 139 days (37-562 days). Pneumonia was the most frequent cause of death. Independent predictors of 90-day mortality included older age (odds ratio (OR) 1.03, P=0.03), increased Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD)-Na score (OR 1.06, P=0.05), primary SBP prophylaxis (QI 7, OR 2.30, P=0.04), and readmission within 30 days (OR 30.26, P<0.001). Discharge prescription of diuretics (QI 8, OR 0.28, P=0.01) was associated with reduced 90-day mortality.CONCLUSIONS:Early paracentesis in patients with new onset cirrhotic ascites lowers 30-day readmission rates, and early initiation of diuretic therapy lowers 90-day mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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