Outcomes, Mortality, and Cost Burden of Acute Kidney Injury and Hepatorenal Syndrome in Patients with Cirrhosis
Background and Aims: Cirrhosis is associated with an increased risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) and hepatorenal syndrome (HRS). Healthcare utilization and cost burden of AKI and HRS in cirrhosis is unknown. We aimed to analyze the health care use and cost burden associated with AKI and HRS in patients with cirrhosis in the United States by using real-world claims data.
Methods: We conducted a case-control study using the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial Claims databases from 2007-2017. A total of 34,398 patients with cirrhosis with or without AKI and 4,364 patients with cirrhosis with or without HRS were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth or Tenth Revision, codes and matched 1:1 by sociodemographic characteristics and comorbidities using propensity scores. Total and service-specific were quantified for the 12-months following versus the 12-months before the first date of AKI or HRS diagnosis and over 12-months following a randomly selected date for cirrhosis controls to capture entire disease burdens.
Results: The AKI and HRS group had a higher number of comorbidities and were associated with higher rates of readmission and mortality. The AKI and HRS groups had a significantly higher prevalence of ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), encephalopathy, gastrointestinal bleeding, septic shock, pulmonary edema, and respiratory failure. Compared to patients with cirrhosis only, AKI was associated with higher number of claims per person (AKI vs. cirrhosis only, 60.30 vs. 47.09; p<0.0001) and total annual median health care costs (AKI vs. cirrhosis only, $46,150 vs. $26,340; p<0.0001). Compared to patients with cirrhosis only, the HRS cohort was associated with a higher number of claims per person (HRS vs. cirrhosis only, 44.96 vs. 43.50; p<0.0009) and total annual median health care costs (HRS vs. cirrhosis only, $34,912 vs. $23,354; p<0.0001). Inpatient costs were higher than the control cohort for AKI (AKI vs. cirrhosis only, $72,720 vs. $29,111; p<0.0001) and HRS (HRS vs. cirrhosis only, $ 98,246 vs. $27,503; p<0.0001). Compared to the control cohort, AKI and HRS had a higher rate of inpatient admission, mean number of inpatient admissions, and mean total length of stay.
Conclusions: AKI and HRS are associated with higher health care utilization and cost burden compared to cirrhosis alone, highlighting the importance for improved screening and treatment modalities.