Necrotizing Fasciitis Among Patients With Liver Cirrhosis in Texas, 2001 - 2010: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Lavi Oud, Phillip Watkins


Background: Liver cirrhosis is a risk factor for necrotizing fasciitis (NF), and is associated with markedly worse outcomes than for NF among non-cirrhosis patients. Only limited, mostly single-center, data were reported to date on the epidemiology, clinical features, resource utilization and outcomes of NF among patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: We studied a population-based cohort of adult hospitalizations associated with cirrhosis, who had a diagnosis of NF during the years 2001 - 2010, using the Texas Inpatient Public Use Data File. The annual volume of NF hospitalizations was benchmarked against all annual hospitalizations with a diagnosis of cirrhosis. The patterns of demographics, chronic comorbidities, evolving organ failure, resource utilization and outcomes were examined.

Results: There were 371,745 hospitalizations associated with liver cirrhosis, with 381 NF hospitalizations during study period. The annual volume of NF hospitalizations rose 7.9%/year (P = 0.0287), while its incidence among cirrhosis-associated hospitalizations remained unchanged (P = 0.2955). Non-cirrhosis comorbidities were reported in 69.6% and ICU care was required in 67.2% of NF hospitalization. The key changes noted between 2001 - 2003 and 2008 - 2010 among NF hospitalizations included rising mean (SD) Deyo-Charlson index 2.4 (1.5) vs. 3.9 (2.4) (P < 0.0001), development of >= 3 organ failures in 9.1% vs. 39.8% (P < 0.0001), and discharge to long-term care facilities 7.8% vs. 21.1% (P = 0.0204). Hospital mortality was unchanged (26% vs. 33.1%; P = 0.3659). Inflation-adjusted total hospital charges did not change (P = 0.1025) during study period.

Conclusions: The present cohort of NF associated with liver cirrhosis is the largest reported to date. A rising annual volume of NF events matched a corresponding increase in cirrhosis-associated hospitalizations. There was increasing burden of chronic comorbidity and rising severity of illness, with a majority of patients requiring ICU care. Case fatality was high and there has been increasing residual morbidity among hospital survivors. The observed findings warrant further study in other populations.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(2):90-96


Mortality; Organ failure; Necrotizing fasciitis; Cirrhosis; Resource utilization

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