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Utility and Safety of Tolvaptan in Cirrhotic Patients with Hyponatremia: a Prospective Cohort Study

Ji-Dong Jia, Wen Xie, Hui-Guo Ding, Hua Mao, Hui Guo, Yonggang Li, Xiaojin Wang, Jie-Fei Wang, Wei Lu, Cheng-Zhong Li, Yimin Mao, Gui-Qiang Wang, Yue-qiu Gao, Bangmao Wang, Qin Zhang, Yan Ge, Vincent Wai-Sun Wong


Introduction and aim. Hyponatremia is common in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and is associated with increased mortality. Tolvaptan, a vasopressor V2 receptor antagonist, can increase free water excretion, but its efficacy and safety in cirrhotic patients remain unclear. Material and methods. We studied the usage and safety of tolvaptan in cirrhotic patients in a real-life, non-randomized, multicenter prospective cohort study. Forty-nine cirrhotic patients with hyponatremia were treated with tolvaptan 15 mg daily, and 48 patients not treated with tolvaptan in the same period served as controls. Improvement in serum sodium level was defined as an increase in serum sodium from < 125 to ≥ 125 mmol/L or from 125-134 to ≥ 135 mmol/L on day 7. Results. Twenty-three (47%) patients in the tolvaptan group and 17 (35%) in the control group had normal serum sodium on day 7 (p = 0.25). Serum sodium improved in 30 (61%) patients in the tolvaptan group and 17 (35%) patients in the control group (p = 0.011). Adverse events occurred in 46-47% of patients in both groups, and tolvaptan was not associated with worsened liver function. No patient with normal serum sodium on day 7 died within 30 days of treatment, whereas 16% of those with persistent hyponatremia died (p = 0.0019). Conclusion. In conclusion, short-term tolvaptan treatment is safe and can improve serum sodium level in cirrhotic patients with hyponatremia. Normalization of serum sodium level is associated with better survival.

Key words. Antidiuretic hormone receptor antagonists, Vasopressin receptors, Sodium, Spironolactone, Liver failure

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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