Back to Journals » ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research » Volume 5

Update on the management of cirrhosis – focus on cost-effective preventative strategies

Authors Neff GW, Kemmer N, Duncan C, Alsina A

Received 20 November 2012

Accepted for publication 15 January 2013

Published 12 April 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 143—152


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Guy W Neff,1 Nyingi Kemmer,1 Christopher Duncan,2 Angel Alsina1

1Tampa General Medical Group, Tampa, FL, 2Highline Gastroenterology, Seattle, WA, USA

Abstract: Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease stage that encompasses a variety of etiologies resulting in liver damage. This damage may induce secondary complications such as portal hypertension, esophageal variceal bleeding, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and hepatic encephalopathy. Screening for and management of these complications incurs substantial health care costs; thus, determining the most economical and beneficial treatment strategies is essential. This article reviews the economic impact of a variety of prophylactic and treatment regimens employed for cirrhosis-related complications. Prophylactic use of ß-adrenergic blockers for portal hypertension and variceal bleeding appears to be cost-effective, but the most economical regimen for treatment of initial bleeding is unclear given that cost comparisons of pharmacologic and surgical regimens are lacking. In contrast, prophylaxis for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis cannot be recommended. Standard therapy for spontaneous bacterial peritonitis includes antibiotics, and the overall economic impact of these medications depends largely on their direct cost. However, the potential development of bacterial antibiotic resistance and resulting clinical failure should also be considered. Nonabsorbable disaccharides are standard therapies for hepatic encephalopathy; however, given their questionable efficacy, the nonsystemic antibiotic rifaximin may be a more cost-effective, long-term treatment for hepatic encephalopathy, despite its increased direct cost, because of its demonstrated efficacy and prevention of hospitalization. Further studies evaluating the cost burden of cirrhosis and cirrhosis-related complications, including screening costs, the cost of treatment and maintenance therapy, conveyance to liver transplantation, liver transplantation success, and health-related quality of life after transplantation, are essential for evaluation of the economic burden of hepatic encephalopathy and all cirrhosis-related complications.

Keywords: hepatic encephalopathy, maintenance of remission, rifaximin, lactulose, cost

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

A new recombinant factor VIII: from genetics to clinical use

Santagostino E

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2014, 8:2507-2515

Published Date: 12 December 2014

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010