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Predictors of mortality and outcomes of liver transplant in spur cell hemolytic anemia.

Virk ZM, Patel AA, Leaf RK, Al-Samkari H. Predictors of mortality and outcomes of liver transplant in spur cell hemolytic anemia. American journal of hematology. 2021 Dec 1; 96(12):1611-1620.

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Spur cell hemolytic anemia (SCHA) is a rare, acquired, nonimmune hemolytic anemia of decompensated cirrhosis. Data describing prognostic impact, outcomes of liver transplant, and clinical hematologic characteristics of SCHA are absent or limited. We performed a multicenter, 24-year observational cohort study of patients with SCHA, retrospectively analyzing hepatic and hematologic parameters, independent predictors of mortality, and long-term outcomes of liver transplant. Sixty-nine patients with SCHA met eligibility for inclusion. The median (interquartile range) age was 53 (42-59) years; 46.4% were female, and 11 (15.9%) received liver transplant. Thirty-nine patients (56.5%) were red blood celltransfusion-dependent. All 11 patients undergoing transplant had rapid and complete resolution of SCHA, with improvement in median hematocrit from 22.1% to 34.6% post-transplant (p  = .001) and excellent post-transplant outcomes. In multivariable logistic models adjusting for age, sex, etiology of cirrhosis, active/recent variceal bleeding, and Child-Turcotte-Pugh score, transfusion dependence had an odds ratio (OR) for 90-day mortality of 9.14 (95% CI, 2.46-34.00) and reduced pre-transfusion hematocrit had an OR of 4.73 (95% CI, 1.42-15.82) per 6% decrease; increased red cell transfusion requirement, reduced hemoglobin, increased lactate dehydrogenase, and increased indirect bilirubin were also independently predictive of higher 90-day mortality. Model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)-Na and Child-Turcotte-Pugh scores consistently significantly underestimated 90-day mortality, with standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) > 1 across all scores/classes [MELD-Na 20-29, SMR 2.42 (1.18-4.44); Child-Turcotte-Pugh class B, SMR 4.46 (1.64-9.90)]. In conclusion, SCHA is associated with substantial excess mortality than predicted by MELD-Na or Child-Turcotte-Pugh scores and uniformly resolves with liver transplant, without recurrence. Multiple parameters of hemolytic anemia severity independently predict higher 90-day mortality.

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