3 years ago

Administration of Albumin Solution Increases Serum Levels of Albumin in Patients with Chronic Liver Failure in a Single-arm Feasibility Trial

Infections are life threatening to patients with acute decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure (AD/ACLF). Patients with AD/ACLF have prostaglandin E2-mediated immune suppression, which can be reversed by administration of albumin; infusion of 20% human albumin solution (HAS) might improve outcomes of infections. We performed a feasibility study to determine optimal trial design, assess safety, and validate laboratory assessments of immune function to inform design of a phase 3 trial. Methods We performed a prospective multi-center, single-arm, open-label trial of 79 patients with AD/ACLF and levels of albumin lower than 30 g/L, seen at 10 hospitals in the United Kingdom from May through December 2015. Patients were given daily infusions of 20% HAS, based on serum levels, for 14 days or until discharge from the hospital. Rates of infection, organ dysfunction, and in-hospital mortality were recorded. The primary endpoint was daily serum albumin level during the treatment period. Success would be demonstrated if 60% achieved and maintained serum albumin levels at or above 30 g/L on at least one-third of days with recorded levels. Results The patients’ mean model for end-stage disease score was 20.9±6.6. The primary endpoint (albumin ≥30g/L on at least one-third of days recorded) was achieved by 68 of the 79 patients; 75% of administrations were in accordance with suggested dosing regimen. Mean treatment duration was 10.3 days (104±678 ml administered). There were 8 deaths and 13 serious adverse events, considered by the independent data-monitoring committee to be consistent with those expected. Twelve of 13 patients that developed either respiratory or cardiovascular dysfunction (based on ward-based clinical definitions) as their only organ dysfunction were alive at 30 days compared with 1 of 3 that developed renal dysfunction. Only 1 case of brain dysfunction was recorded. Conclusion In a feasibility trial, we found that administration of HAS increased serum levels of albumin in patients with AD/ACLF. The dosing regimen was acceptable at multiple sites and deemed safe by an independent data-monitoring committee. We also developed a robust system to record infections. The poor prognosis for patients with renal dysfunction was confirmed. However, patients with cardiovascular or respiratory dysfunction had good outcomes, which is counter-intuitive. Severe encephalopathy appeared substantially under-reported, indicating that ward-based assessment of these parameters cannot be recorded with sufficient accuracy for use as a primary outcome in phase 3 trials. Trial registration no: EudraCT 2014-002300-24 and ISRCTN14174793.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1542356517310984

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