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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 158-164

Von-Willebrand factor: A biomarker to predict in-hospital survival in patients with severe and very severe alcoholic hepatitis

1 Department of Hepatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Division of GI Sciences, Wellcome Research Unit, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Haematology, Haemostasis Research Unit, University College London, London, United Kingdom
5 Liver Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C E Eapen
Department of Hepatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_68_20

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Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the utility of plasma von-Willebrand factor (VWF) levels in predicting in-hospital survival for patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis. Methods: From a prospectively collected database of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) patients, we retrospectively selected all severe alcoholic hepatitis (discriminant function [DF] ≥32) patients and correlated baseline plasma VWF (antigen, Ag and collagen-binding activity [CBA]) levels with disease severity. In-hospital survival was classified as discharged alive (or) died/discharged in a terminal condition (poor outcome). Results: Of 34 consecutive severe alcoholic hepatitis patients (age: 40.5, 30–63 years; median, range, hospital stay: 6, 2–15 days) studied, 15 had a poor outcome. Plasma VWF-CBA was higher in patients with poor outcome (736 [396–1157] IU/dL) as compared to patients discharged in stable state (492 [97–986] IU/dL; P = 0.03). VWF-CBA correlated well with VWF-Ag, model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, sequential organ failure assessment score and ACLF grades. AUROC to predict composite poor outcome was similar for plasma VWF-CBA (0.72, 0.54–0.89) and MELD score (0.71, 0.53–0.89). Plasma VWF-CBA was higher in 23 “very severe” alcoholic hepatitis (DF >60 or MELD >30) patients. Combining plasma VWF-CBA (>750 IU/dL) and criteria for “very severe” alcoholic hepatitis had a sensitivity of 100% (81%–100%) and negative predictive value of 100% (68%–100%) for predicting poor outcome. Conclusions: Plasma VWF levels are markedly elevated, correlate with organ failure, and predict in-hospital survival in severe alcoholic hepatitis, and also in “very severe” alcoholic hepatitis, patients.

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