Aims: The vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist, tolvaptan, has been reported to be effective in cirrhotic patients with ascites. Here, we evaluated predictors of the response to tolvaptan. Methods: A total of 97 patients with cirrhosis (60 males; median age, 63 years) who had been treated for ascites with oral tolvaptan were enrolled. Tolvaptan efficacy was defined as urine volume increase of ≥500 mL or a urine volume ≥2000 mL/day on the day following treatment. Normalization of the serum sodium (Na) level after 1 week of treatment and the posttreatment survival rate was analyzed. Results: Tolvaptan therapy resulted in effective urination in 67% of patients. A multivariate analysis revealed that the blood urea nitrogen/creatinine (BUN/Cr) ratio and urinary Na/potassium (Na/K) ratio were predictive of the tolvaptan response (p <0.05). The serum Na level was 135 (121–145) mEq/L, and normal levels were recovered in 50.0% of the patients with an initial Na level of <135 mEq/L. The posttreatment survival rate was significantly higher in patients who responded to tolvaptan therapy (p <0.05). Conclusions: The combination of the initial BUN/Cr and urine Na/K ratios and a normalized serum Na level after 1 week was predictive of a favorable outcome to tolvaptan therapy.
Part of the book: Ascites