Can a new predictive survival model help Refractory Celiac patients? Photo: CC--Jurgen Appelo 10/17/2016 - Refractory celiac disease is a severe condition with few good treatment options, and which often eventually results in death. A group of researchers recently set out to create a prognostic model to estimate survival of patients with refractory celiac disease.

The research team included A. Rubio-Tapia, G. Malamut, W. H. M. Verbeek, R. L. J. van Wanrooij, D. A. Leffler, S. I. Niveloni, C. Arguelles-Grande, B. D. Lahr, A. R. Zinsmeister, J. A. Murray, C. P. Kelly, J. C. Bai, P. H. Green, S. Daum, C. J. J. Mulder, and C. Cellier. They are variously affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA, the Hopital Europeen Georges-Pompidou, Paris, France, the Hospital Dr. Carlos Nonorino Udaondo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA, the Charite-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany, and the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Before setting up their prognostic model, the team first assessed predictors of 5-year mortality using Cox proportional hazards regression on subjects from a multinational registry. The team used bootstrap resampling to internally validate the individual factors and overall model performance. To calculate a risk score for 5-year mortality, the team averaged all estimated regression coefficients gathered from 400 bootstrap models that they formulated from their multinational cohort of 232 patients diagnosed with refractory celiac disease across seven centers.

Average patient age was 53 years and the group included 150 women out of the 232 patient total. A total of 51 subjects died during a 5-year follow-up, which put the cumulative 5-year all-cause mortality at 30%.

The results from a multiple variable Cox proportional hazards model showed that the following variables were significantly associated with 5-year mortality: age at refractory celiac disease diagnosis (per 20 year increase, hazard ratio = 2.21; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.38–3.55), abnormal intraepithelial lymphocytes (hazard ratio = 2.85; 95% CI: 1.22–6.62), and albumin (per 0.5 unit increase, hazard ratio = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.61–0.85). A simple weighted three-factor risk score was created to estimate 5-year survival.

The team's prognostic model for predicting 5-year mortality among patients with refractory celiac disease may help clinicians to guide treatment and follow-up.

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