Significance of the 13C-caffeine breath test for patients with cirrhosis
Background The 13C-caffeine breath test (CBT) is a non-invasive, quantitative test of liver function which has been shown to correlate inversely to the Child-Pugh score. The aim of the study was to determine the utility of CBT in the assessment of cirrhosis and its correlation to the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score.
Methods Thirty-nine patients, 29 with cirrhosis and 10 with chronic liver disease without cirrhosis, and 8 healthy volunteers were included. Cirrhotic patients were graded according to Child-Pugh and MELD scores. All participants underwent CBT and laboratory tests on the same day. The results of the CBT were expressed as percentages of changes over baseline values (Î”â€°) per 100 mg caffeine.
Results The mean single 15-min, 30-min, 45-min and 1-h CBT results, as well as cumulative CBT values differed significantly between healthy controls or chronic liver disease patients and cirrhotics (1-h CBT: 3.22Â±1.06 or 3.56Â±2.80 vs. 1.69Â±2.52, Pâ‰¤0.01). In contrast, the CBT results at any time point or cumulative values did not correlate with MELD or Child-Pugh scores. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis showed that the 30-min CBT values were more accurate in differentiating cirrhotics from chronic liver disease patients (area under ROC curve: 0.871).
Conclusions CBT can reliably differentiate the patients with decompensated cirrhosis from non-cirrhotic patients with chronic liver diseases. However, in patients with decompensated cirrhosis, CBT results do not seem to be associated with the Child-Pugh and MELD scores.
Keywords Caffeine breath test, MELD, Child-Pugh, cirrhosis
Ann Gastroenterol 2014; 27 (1): 53-59