Predictors of do-not-resuscitate order utilization in decompensated cirrhosis hospitalized patients: A nationwide inpatient cohort study

Savan Kabaria, Kapil Gupta, Abhishek Bhurwal, Anish V. Patel, Vinod K. Rustgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction and objectives: Decompensated cirrhosis carries high inpatient morbidity and mortality. Consequently, advance care planning is an integral aspect of medical care in this patient population. Our study aims to identify do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order utilization and demographic disparities in decompensated cirrhosis patients. Patients or materials and methods: Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to extract the cohort of patients from January 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2017, based on the most comprehensive and recent data. The first cohort included hospitalized patients with decompensated cirrhosis. The second cohort included patients with decompensated cirrhosis with at least one contraindication for liver transplantation. Results: A cohort of 585,859 decompensated cirrhosis patients was utilized. DNR orders were present in 14.2% of hospitalized patients. DNR utilization rate among patients with relative contraindication for liver transplantation was 15.0%. After adjusting for co-morbid conditions, disease severity, and inpatient mortality, African-American and Hispanic patient populations had significantly lower DNR utilization rates. There were regional, and hospital-level differences noted. Moreover, advanced age, advanced stage of decompensated cirrhosis, inpatient mortality, and relative contraindications for liver transplantation (metastatic neoplasms, dementia, alcohol misuse, severe cardiopulmonary disease, medical non-adherence) were independently associated with increased DNR utilization rates. Conclusions: The rate of DNR utilization in patients with relative contraindications for liver transplantation was similar to patients without any relative contraindications. Moreover, there were significant demographic and hospital-level predictors of DNR utilization. This information can guide resource allocation in educating patients and their families regarding prognosis and outcome expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100284
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
StatePublished - May 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


  • Decompensated cirrhosis
  • Do-not-resuscitate (DNR)
  • End-of-life care
  • Palliative care


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