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The Level of Alcohol Consumption in the Prior Year Does Not Impact Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Alcohol-Associated Hepatitis

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Jessica A Musto, Jens Eickhoff, Merixtell Ventura-Cots, Juan G Abraldes, Francisco Bosques-Padilla, Elizabeth C Verna, Robert S Brown, Victor Vargas, Jose Altamirano, Juan Caballería, Debbie Shawcross, Alexandre Louvet, Philippe Mathurin, Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao, Bernd Schnabl, Ramon Bataller, Michael R Lucey

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1382-1391
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number10
Early online date31 Jul 2021
Accepted/In press10 Jun 2021
E-pub ahead of print31 Jul 2021
PublishedOct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study was supported by National Institutes of Health U01 AA026939. Publisher Copyright: Copyright © 2021 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

King's Authors


The 10-item Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-10) and its shorter form, AUDIT-Consumption (AUDIT-C), are questionnaires used to characterize severity of drinking. We hypothesized that liver injury and short-term outcomes of alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH) would correlate with a patient’s recent alcohol consumption as determined by AUDIT-10 and AUDIT-C. We analyzed a prospective international database of patients with AH diagnosed based on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) standard definitions. All patients were interviewed using AUDIT-10. Primary outcomes included the discriminatory ability of the AUDIT-10 and AUDIT-C scores for predicting survival status at 28 and 90 days and severity of liver injury, as measured by Model for End-Stage Liver Disease–sodium (MELD-Na). The relationship between AUDIT scores and survival status was quantified by calculating the area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic analysis. The relationship between AUDIT scores and MELD-Na was examined using correlation coefficients. In 245 patients (age range 25-75 years; 35% female), we found no correlation between AUDIT-10 or AUDIT-C scores and either 28- or 90-day mortality. Similarly, there was no correlation between AUDIT-10 and AUDIT-C and MELD-Na scores. There was a strong positive correlation between MELD-Na and 28- and 90-day mortality. Additional measures of severity of alcohol use (average grams of alcohol consumed per day, years of drinking, convictions for driving under the influence, and rehabilitation attempts) and psychosocial factors (marriage, paid employment, and level of social support) had no influence on MELD-Na. In patients presenting with AH, AUDIT-10 and AUDIT-C were predictors of neither clinical severity of liver disease nor short-term mortality, suggesting that level of alcohol consumption in the prior year is not key to the presenting features or outcome of AH.

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