The utility of the 13C-methacetin breath test in predicting the long-term survival of patients with decompensated cirrhosis

Segundo Moran, Aline Mina, Ximena Duque, Nayeli Ortiz-Olvera, Gustavo Rodriguez-Leal, Jose Alfredo Sierra-Ramírez, Roberto Medina-Santillán, Robertino M. Mera, Misael Uribe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd. Aim: The 13C-methacetin breath test (13C-MeBT) is a noninvasive tool that allows evaluation of the functional activity of the liver and the prediction of liver cirrhosis. Nevertheless, there is no information on its potential utility to predict long-term survival in patients with liver disease. Methods: Patients with cirrhosis were selected. All patients underwent a complete clinical assessment, standard biochemical tests, and 13C-MeBT at the beginning of the study. Death was recorded during the three years of follow-up. Survival curves were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox proportional risk models were used to identify predictive factors. The ability to classify the overall risk was assessed by the C statistic. Results: One hundred and twenty-three patients were included. A significant inverse correlation was found between delta over baseline at the 15 min point (DOB15) after ingestion of 13C-methacetin and the Child-Pugh score (r = -0.411, p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, DOB15 ≤ 4.5‰ was associated with mortality, [HR = 2.58 95% CI (1.17-5.69)]. In conclusion, our results confirm the utility of 13C-MeBT as a simple, noninvasive tool to quantitatively assess the liver's functional reserve and as a potential predictor of long-term survival in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Breath Research
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2017


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