Renal Replacement Therapy for Acute Kidney Injury in Severe Alcohol-Associated Hepatitis as a Bridge to Transplant or Recovery

Brian E. Jones, Andrew S. Allegretti, Elisa Pose, Kristin C. Mara, Nneka N. Ufere, Emma Avitabile, Vijay H. Shah, Patrick S. Kamath, Pere Ginès, Douglas A. Simonetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute kidney injury is seen in approximately 30% of patients with severe alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH) and is associated with increased mortality. Controversy exists surrounding initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in these patients, as most are ineligible for early transplantation. Aims: The primary aim was to identify predictors of survival and identify patients who may benefit from RRT as a bridge to transplant or recovery. Methods: A retrospective multicenter cohort of adult patients with AH, who received RRT, was developed, including patients from two North American and one European liver transplant centers. Results: Fifty-five patients were included. Survival was 26/55 (47.3%) at 30 days, 17/55 (30.9%) at 3 months, and 15/55 (27.2%) at 6 months. Of those who survived 6 months, 2/15 (13.3%) received simultaneous liver and kidney transplantation, 11/15 (73.3%) had spontaneous recovery of kidney function, and 2/15 (13.3%) remained on RRT. Of patients who survived at least 3 months, 8/17 (47%) completed addiction treatment. Predictors of mortality were pre-RRT MELD (OR 1.10, 1.02–1.19) and pre-RRT MELD-Na (OR 1.14, 1.03–1.27). Pre-RRT MELD-Na < 35 was associated with lower 6-month mortality (OR 0.23, 0.06 – 0.81). Of patients with pre-RRT MELD-Na < 35, 50% survived 6 months compared to 18% of patients with pre-RRT MELD-Na ≥ 35. Conclusions: Although RRT has a limited role in patients with decompensated cirrhosis, ineligible for transplant, it may be used in select patients with AH. This may allow for spontaneous recovery with alcohol abstinence or completion of addiction treatment prior to transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-707
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Acute tubular necrosis
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Hepatorenal syndrome
  • Liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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