Serum copeptin level is a biomarker associated with ascites retention and the formation of a portosystemic shunt in chronic liver disease

AbstractBackground and Aim

Copeptin is a stable cleavage product of the arginine vasopressin precursor and is equimolarly secreted with arginine vasopressin. We aimed to assess whether copeptin is the surrogate marker for complications related chronic liver disease (CLD) such as ascites, hepatic encephalopathy (HE), portosystemic shunts (PSSs), and all causes of mortality in CLD.


Serum copeptin was measured in 170 CLD patients upon hospital admission. The association of copeptin levels with liver enzymes, liver functional reserve, and clinical parameters was investigated. Cox proportional hazard regression, logistic regression, and Kaplan–Meier analyses were performed to evaluate the associations of copeptin and ascites, HE and PSS formation, and prognostic factors with short?term (1 year) and long?term (4 years) mortality.


Serum copeptin levels were significantly correlated with liver and renal function, elevated in parallel with liver disease progression, and also associated with HE. Serum copeptin, albumin–bilirubin score and hepatocellular carcinoma were independent predictors of PSS formation and decreased rate of survival. Serum copeptin and albumin–bilirubin scores were independent predictors of ascites retention. The short?term and long?term cumulative mortality rate was significantly decreased in patients with serum copeptin >5.5 or >4.8 pmol/mL compared with patients in whom serum copeptin levels were <5.5 or <4.8 pmol/mL (P < 0.0001; P < 0.0001).


Serum copeptin level is a predictor for ascites retention and HE and PSS formation associated with portal hypertension. Moreover, serum copeptin level may be useful in predicting the rate of survival in patients with CLD.