Background & aims: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection contributes to substantial proportion of acute liver injury. This study aims to evaluate the ability of red cell distribution width (RDW), neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and RDW to lymphocyte ratio (RLR) in predicating the development of liver failure following HEV infection and the prognosis. Methods: 93 healthy controls, 152 current/recent HEV infected patients without liver failure (HEV-non-LF) and 62 HEV patients who developed liver failure (HEV-LF) were enrolled in the study. The clinical and laboratory characteristics on admission, including RDW, neutrophil, lymphocyte, were recorded. Additional 24 HEV-LF patients and 24 HEV-non-LF patients were enrolled to validate the diagnostic efficacy of the three parameters. Results: RDW, NLR and RLR were higher in HEV patients developing liver failure, compared with HEV-non-LF patients. Positive associations of increased RDW, RLR, NLR and incidence of liver failure were found. The AUC of RLR for predicting HEV-related liver failure was 0.74, superior to NLR and RDW. The sensitivity and specificity of RLR for predicting HEV-related liver failure were 0.74 and 0.65 respectively, superior to NLR (0.66, 0.70) and RDW (0.58, 0.67). However, no correlation between any of the three parameters and prognosis of HEV-LF was found. In addition, the three parameters were correlated with ALB, TBIL and Child-Pugh score in HEV-non-LF subjects, other than in HEV-LF patients. Conclusion: RDW, NLR and RLR are capable to predicate the development of liver failure in HEV patients, among which RLR showed the best sensitivity and specificity. These routinely available parameters shall be considered as new preliminarily diagnostic markers for fulminant hepatic damage in HEV patients.

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Clinical Biochemistry
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Wu, J. (Jian), Zhang, X. (Xueyan), Liu, H. (Hongyang), Guo, N. (Naizhou), Pan, Q., & Wang, Y. (2018). RDW, NLR and RLR in predicting liver failure and prognosis in patients with hepatitis E virus infection. Clinical Biochemistry. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2018.11.012