The Impact of Liver Dysfunction on Outcome in Patients with Multiple Injuries

Harbrecht, Brian G.; Doyle, Howard R.; Clancy, Keith D.; Townsend, Ricard N.; Billiar, Timothy R.; Peitzman, Andrew B.
February 2001
American Surgeon;Feb2001, Vol. 67 Issue 2, p122
Academic Journal
Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) is the leading cause of late deaths after traumatic injury. The relative importance of dysfunction of individual organ systems in determining outcome from MODS has not been clearly defined. Some studies have suggested that hepatic dysfunction associated with MODS increases mortality, whereas others have suggested that it contributes little to outcome in trauma patients. To clarify the role of the hepatic dysfunction after traumatic injury we retrospectively reviewed all trauma patients with an Injury Severity Score is greater than or equal to 14 admitted from January 1, 1994 through June 30, 1997 for the presence of hepatic dysfunction defined as a serum bilirubin is greater than or equal to 2.0 mg/dL. Of the 1962 patients who met the entry criteria 154 developed hepatic dysfunction during their hospital stay. Patients with hepatic dysfunction were older (46 +/- 2 versus 41 +/- 1 years), were more severely injured (Injury Severity Score 31.5 +/- 0.9 versus 23.3 +/- 0.2), and had a lower prehospital blood pressure (102 +/- 3 versus 117 +/- 1 mm Hg) compared with patients who did not develop hepatic dysfunction. Patients with hepatic dysfunction were more likely to present with shock as reflected in a lower initial emergency room blood pressure (109 +/- 3 versus 128 +/- 1 mm Hg) and base deficit (-6.9 +/- 0.6 versus -3.5 +/- 0.1 mEq/L). Patients who developed hyperbilirubinemia had longer lengths of stay in the intensive care unit (15.8 +/- 1.2 versus 3.4 +/- 0.2 days) and the hospital (27.4 +/- 1.7 versus 11.1 +/- 0.2 days) and a higher in-hospital mortality (16.2% versus 2.5%). These data demonstrate that the development of hepatic dysfunction reflects the severity of injury and is associated with a significantly worse outcome after traumatic injury.


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