Background/Aims: Severe sepsis is frequently associated with hypocholesterolemia which is also a common finding in cirrhotic patients. Lipoprotein is capable of binding endotoxin to which cirrhotic patients exhibit an excessive pro-inflammatory response. Methods: We evaluated the relationship between lipid levels, inflammatory cytokines and clinical outcomes in 103 cirrhotic patients with severe sepsis. Results: The non-survivors had significantly lower concentrations of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and apolipoprotein A-I (APO A-I). HDL and APO A-I levels were inversely correlated with interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, and various disease severity scores. Serum creatinine, mean arterial pressure and low level of APO A-I (<47.5 mg/dl) were independent factors to predict 90-day mortality. The cumulative survival rates at 90 days were 63.8% and 8.9% for the high APO A-I and low APO A-I groups (p < 0.0001). Low APO A-I was also associated with lower mean arterial pressure, higher rate of vasopressor dependency, and greater plasma renin activity. Conclusions: Serum levels of HDL and APO A-I are inversely correlated with liver reserve and disease severity in cirrhotic patients with severe sepsis. Low level of APO A-I is associated with a marked impairment of effective arterial volume, multiple organ dysfunction and a poor prognosis.
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