Healthcare burden and outcomes of hepatorenal syndrome among cirrhosis-related hospitalisations in the US

Ashwani K. Singal, Yong Fang Kuo, K. Rajender Reddy, Ramon Bataller, Paul Kwo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) contributes to significant morbidity and mortality in hospitalised patients with cirrhosis. Aims: To examine recent trends, magnitude and outcomes of HRS in the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database. Methods: Among the NIS database on cirrhosis hospitalisations (2016–2019) due to alcohol (ALD), chronic viral hepatitis (CVH), or NASH and complicated by acute kidney injury (AKI) were analyzed. Results: Of 113,454 hospitalisations, 18,735 (16.5%) had HRS (mean age 56 years, 36% females, 68% whites, 80% ALD, 7% NASH) with a stable trend over time. Among 1:1 propensity-matched 36,090 hospitalisations, the odds of HRS were 12% higher in NASH versus CVH. Based on weighted national estimates, there were 27,180 (8.3 per 100,000 US population) HRS hospitalisations in 2019, with economic burden of $4.2 billion USD. Mean hospitalisation and total charges (ALD vs. CVH vs. NASH) were 11 versus 10.8 versus 9.2 days and 151,000 versus 157,000 versus 120,000 USD, respectively; p < 0.001. In-hospital mortality was 18.9%, higher in HRS (25.8 vs. 12%, p < 0.001), and decreased by 15% annually. Survivors were more likely to be discharged to short- or long-term care facilities (HRS vs. non-HRS [42 vs. 27%, p < 0.001]); only 28.7% received palliative care. Conclusion: HRS was the cause of AKI in 16.5% of patients hospitalised with cirrhosis and conferred significant healthcare burden with 27,180 HRS hospitalisations in 2019 and requiring an estimated 4.2 billion USD for hospital care. While there has been a decrease in in-hospital mortality over time, it remained high at 23.7% in 2019 in those with HRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1486-1496
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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