Identifying the early predictors of non-response to steroids in patients with flare of autoimmune hepatitis causing acute-on-chronic liver failure

Document Type



Gastroenterology; Medicine


Background and aims: Early identification of non-response to steroids is critical in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) causing acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). We assessed if this non-response can be accurately identified within first few days of treatment.
Methods: Patients with AIH-ACLF without baseline infection/hepatic encephalopathy were identified from APASL ACLF research consortium (AARC) database. Diagnosis of AIH-ACLF was based mainly on histology. Those treated with steroids were assessed for non-response (defined as death or liver transplant at 90 days for present study). Laboratory parameters, AARC, and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores were assessed at baseline and day 3 to identify early non-response. Utility of dynamic SURFASA score [- 6.80 + 1.92*(D0-INR) + 1.94*(∆%3-INR) + 1.64*(∆%3-bilirubin)] was also evaluated. The performance of early predictors was compared with changes in MELD score at 2 weeks.
Results: Fifty-five out of one hundred and sixty-five patients (age-38.2 ± 15.0 years, 67.2% females) with AIH-ACLF [median MELD 24 (IQR: 22-27); median AARC score 7 (6-9)] given oral prednisolone 40 (20-40) mg per day were analyzed. The 90 day transplant-free survival in this cohort was 45.7% with worse outcomes in those with incident infections (56% vs 28.0%, p = 0.03). The AUROC of pre-therapy AARC score [0.842 (95% CI 0.754-0.93)], MELD [0.837 (95% CI 0.733-0.94)] score and SURFASA score [0.795 (95% CI 0.678-0.911)] were as accurate as ∆MELD at 2 weeks [0.770 (95% CI 0.687-0.845), p = 0.526] and better than ∆MELD at 3 days [0.541 (95% CI 0.395, 0.687), p < 0.001] to predict non-response. Combination of AARC score > 6, MELD score > 24 with SURFASA score ≥ - 1.2, could identify non-responders at day 3 (concomitant- 75% vs either - 42%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Baseline AARC score, MELD score, and the dynamic SURFASA score on day 3 can accurately identify early non-response to steroids in AIH-ACLF.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Hepatology international