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Supplemental Corticosteroids in Cirrhotic Hypotensive Patients With Suspicion of Sepsis (SCOTCH;)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02602210
Recruitment Status : Terminated (low inclusion rate)
First Posted : November 11, 2015
Last Update Posted : January 22, 2021
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven

Brief Summary:
The main goal of the study is to investigate the clinical relevance, efficacy and safety of treating hypotensive cirrhotic patients with suspicion of sepsis and on vasopressors with low-dose hydrocortisone in order to reverse hemodynamic instability and organ failure and to decrease mortality.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Liver Cirrhosis Drug: Hydrocortisone Drug: NaCL 0.9% Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Ample evidence suggests that a significant number of patients (52-77%) with chronic liver disease develop adrenal insufficiency in case of concomitant sepsis. This condition impairs hemodynamic integrity and probably worsens often encountered multiorgan failure. Different groups suggested that treating those patients with corticosteroids gives a faster reversal of hemodynamic instability and even lowers mortality compared to historical controls. However, most of the published data are retrospective and comprise small groups of patients. These data raise the possibility that corticosteroids at stress doses may be beneficial in hypotensive cirrhotics admitted to the ICU but as yet this has not been subjected to a large-scale multicentre randomized controlled clinical trial.

The study will be a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, involving tertiary intensive care units with expertise in management of patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Patients who satisfy inclusion criteria and do not present any of the exclusion criteria at ICU admission will be randomized into two groups:

  • Group A: treated with intravenous hydrocortisone in addition to standard therapy (= treatment group)
  • Group B: placebo (NaCl 0.9%) treatment in addition to standard treatment (= placebo group)

If, after adequate fluid resuscitation, patients are still on norepinephrine at a dose of at least 0,1 mcg/kg/min for at least 4 hours, the patient can be randomized. Study drug can be started immediately after randomization but no later than 24 h after initiation of norepinephrine. Patients will receive an intravenous bolus of 50 ml of normal saline (placebo) or an intravenous bolus of 50 ml of normal saline containing 100 mg of hydrocortisone (double-blind) that will be followed by a continuous intravenous infusion of the study drug (hydrocortisone) or placebo. Treatment with study drug (hydrocortisone or placebo) at initial rate will be maintained until the start of day 4 and gradually discontinued (reduction of infusion rate with 0.5 ml/h/d) when 1) patients do not require vasoactive drugs anymore to maintain MAP(mean arterial pressure) > 60 mmHg or > 65 mmHg if associated with signs of hypoperfusion in spite of ongoing adequate fluid resuscitation or 2) in any case after a 7-day treatment period.

Investigators, treating physicians, nurses and patients will be blinded to the intervention.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Supplemental Corticosteroids in Cirrhotic Hypotensive Patients With Suspicion of Sepsis
Study Start Date : January 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 31, 2020
Actual Study Completion Date : December 31, 2020

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: group A
Group A: treated with intravenous hydrocortisone in addition to standard therapy (= treatment group)
Drug: Hydrocortisone
IV bolus of 100 mg hydrocortisone in 50ml NaCl 0.9% (sodium chloride); followed by continuous IV infusion of 200 mg hydrocortisone in 50 ml NaCl 0.9% at a rate of 2 ml/h until the start of day 4.Reduction of infusion rate with 0.5 ml/h/day.
Other Name: solucortef

Placebo Comparator: group B
Group B: IV treatment with NaCL 0.9% in addition to standard therapy (= placebo group)
Drug: NaCL 0.9%
IV bolus of 50 ml NaCL 0.9%; followed by continuous IV infusion of NaCL 0.9%
Other Name: sodium chloride

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Patient survival at 28 days analysed from the day of randomisation [ Time Frame: 28days ]
    survival status

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. patient survival at 90 days analysed from the day of randomization [ Time Frame: 90 days ]
    survival status

  2. ICU and hospital mortality [ Time Frame: from the date of randomisation until ICU discharge or hospital mortality, whichever came first, up to day 90 ]

  3. reversal of shock [ Time Frame: up to day 90 ]
    time in days from start of placebo or active medication to resolution of shock as defined as cessation of continuous vasopressor medication (for > 24 hours)

  4. reversal of organ failures [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    measured with SOFA-score and CLIF (Chronic Liver Failure Consortium)-SOFA score

  5. vasopressor doses [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    administration of vasopressor

  6. vasopressor-free days [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    days without vasopression

  7. mechanical ventilation-free days [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    days without mechanical ventilation

  8. need for and duration of renal replacement therapy [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    days of renal replacement therapy

  9. ICU and hospital length-of-stay [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    days of ICU stay , days of hospital stay

  10. acquirement of new infections [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    bacterial and/or fungal: defined according to CDC (Centers for Diseases Control) criteria (pneumonia, bacteremia, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, catheter-related bloodstream infections, skin infections and others)

  11. shock relapse [ Time Frame: during tapering period until 3 days after end of study drug ]
    defined as hypotension recurrence during the tapering period or within 3 days of total discontinuation of study drug

  12. clinically important bleeding [ Time Frame: up to 90 days ]
    defined as new melena, new haematemesis or unexplained fall in haemoglobin > 2g/dl (not related to volume expansion). The presence of 'coffee ground' aspirate from nasogastric aspirate will not be considered active GI bleeding.

  13. glycemic control [ Time Frame: during ICU stay, up to 10 days ]
    measured as units of insulin required to attain glycemic levels between 80 - 140 mg/dl

  14. episode of hyper- (> 180 mg/dl) or hypoglycemia (< 60 mg/dl) [ Time Frame: during study treatment period, up to 10 days ]
    number of episodes of hypo- hyperglycemia

  15. new shock episode [ Time Frame: during study treatment period, up to 13 days ]
    hypotension recurrence with need for vasopressor therapy after 3 days of total discontinuation of study drug

  16. impact of coagulopathy [ Time Frame: during ICU stay up to 10 days ]
    assessed by disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC)-score

  17. incidence of ICU-acquired weakness [ Time Frame: during ICU stay, up to 90 days ]
    occurrence of IC acquired weakness

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All patients with known or recently diagnosed cirrhosis who

    1. are admitted to the ICU because of persistent hypotension or
    2. develop persistent hypotension while admitted to the ICU,

secondary to proven or suspected infection, in both cases despite adequate fluid resuscitation and with persistent need for low-dose norepinephrine to maintain a mean arterial blood pressure > 60 mmHg or > 65 mmHg if accompanied by signs of hypoperfusion, are eligible for study entry. The diagnosis of cirrhosis is preferably made by histology or based on imaging and laboratory findings.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age < 18 or ≥ 80 years
  • Patients receiving any vasopressor medication for more than 24 h prior to administration of study drug. Terlipressin initiated for treatment of hepatorenal syndrome or variceal bleeding is allowed
  • Patients with known hypoadrenalism
  • Active GI bleeding (unless controlled for >72 hours) or hemorrhagic shock.
  • Cardiogenic shock or severe cardiac dysfunction (CI <2 l/min/ m2)
  • Active uncontrolled hepatitis B infection
  • HIV infection
  • Evidence of current malignancy (except hepatocellular carcinoma within transplant criteria or non-melanocytic skin cancer)
  • Therapy with any corticosteroid (oral or intravenous) in the last 3 months
  • Patients who received etomidate within the past 3 days
  • Severe acute alcoholic hepatitis (biopsy proven)
  • Chronic hemodialysis
  • Severe chronic heart disease (NYHA class III or IV)
  • Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (GOLD III or IV)
  • Severe psychiatric disorder
  • Child-Pugh score C14 -15
  • SOFA score > 16 points at inclusion
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Contraindications for systemic steroids
  • Refusal to consent
  • Patients who cannot provide prior informed consent and when there is documented evidence that the patient has no legal surrogate decision maker and it appears unlikely that the patient will regain consciousness or sufficient ability to provide delayed informed consent

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02602210

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Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven
Leuven, Vlaams Brabant, Belgium, 3000
Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Prague, Czechia
Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Hamburg, Germany
San Giovanni Battista Hospital
Turin, Italy
Hospital Clinic Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Maranon
Madrid, Spain
Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal
Madrid, Spain
United Kingdom
King's College Hospital
London, United Kingdom
Derriford Hospital
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven
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Principal Investigator: Philippe Meersseman, MD Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven
Principal Investigator: Alexander Wilmer, MD, PhD Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven
Principal Investigator: Javier Fernandez, MD,PhD Hosp Clinic, Barcelona, Spain
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Responsible Party: Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02602210    
Other Study ID Numbers: SCOTCH-SCotCHIS in the UK
First Posted: November 11, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 22, 2021
Last Verified: January 2021
Keywords provided by Universitaire Ziekenhuizen KU Leuven:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Liver Cirrhosis
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Pathologic Processes
Liver Diseases
Digestive System Diseases
Hydrocortisone hemisuccinate
Anti-Inflammatory Agents