Prevalence and outcomes of chronic liver disease in patients receiving dialysis: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Oscar Swift*, Shivani Sharma, Sivaramakrishnan Ramanarayanan, Hamza Umar, Keith R. Laws, Enric Vilar, Ken Farrington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients receiving dialysis for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) commonly co-exhibit risk factors for hepatic impairment. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to quantify the coexistence of chronic liver disease (CLD) and characterize risk factors and outcomes. Methods: We searched the following databases from inception to May 2021: CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Embase, Kings Fund Library, MEDLINE and PubMed. The protocol was pre-registered on PROSPERO (study ID: CRD42020206486). Studies were assessed against three inclusion criteria: adults (>18 years) with ESKD receiving dialysis, primary outcome involving CLD prevalence and publications in English. Moderator analysis was performed for age, gender, study size and publication year. Sensitivity analysis was performed where applicable by removing outlier results and studies at high risk of bias. Results: Searches yielded 7195 articles; of these 15 met the inclusion criteria. A total of 320 777 patients were included. The prevalence of cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was 5% and 55%, respectively. Individuals with CLD had 2-fold higher mortality than those without {odds ratio [OR] 2.19 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.39-3.45]}. Hepatitis B [OR 13.47 (95% CI 1.37-132.55)] and hepatitis C [OR 7.05 (95% CI 4.00-12.45)], but not diabetes, conferred increased cirrhosis risk. All studies examining NAFLD were judged to be at high risk of bias. We found no data on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Deaths from CLD, cancer and infection were greater among cirrhotic patients. Conclusions: CLD is prevalent in dialysis patients. Hepatitis B and C confer increased risk of CLD. The impact of NAFLD and NASH cirrhosis requires further study. CLD is associated with an increased risk of mortality in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-757
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Kidney Journal
Issue number4
Early online date18 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • dialysis
  • ESRD
  • haemodialysis
  • peritoneal dialysis
  • systematic review


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