PURPOSE: To evaluate validity of albumin-bilirubin (ALBI) grade as a predictor of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) after transarterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with baseline moderate to severe liver dysfunction.MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, serum albumin and bilirubin levels measured before chemoembolization were used to calculate ALBI score in 123 patients treated with 187 high-risk chemoembolizations. Procedures were considered high risk if Child-Turcotte-Pugh score before chemoembolization was = 8. ACLF was objectively measured using chronic liver failure-sequential organ failure assessment score at 30 and 90 d. The 30-day mortality and morbidity from new or worsening ascites and/or hepatic encephalopathy (HE) were assessed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify clinical and procedural predictors of ACLF in this high-risk population.RESULTS: ACLF occurred after 15 (8%) high-risk chemoembolizations within 30 days and an additional 9 (5%) procedures between 30 and 90 days. Overall 30-day mortality was 2.7%. New or worsened ascites and/or HE occurred after 52 (28%) procedures within 30 days. Significant prognosticators of ACLF at 90 days revealed by univariate analysis were bilirubin (P= .004), albumin (P= .007), and ALBI score (P= .002), with ALBI score remaining statistically significant on multivariate regression analysis (OR= 3.99; 95% CI, 1.70-9.40; P= .002).CONCLUSIONS: Chemoembolization for HCC can be performed safely in patients with moderate to severe liver dysfunction. ALBI score before chemoembolization provides objective prognostication for ACLF after chemoembolization in this cohort and may be used for risk stratification.
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