A total of 30 patients with cirrhosis were admitted, accounting for 3% of total ICU admissions. Mean age was 54.5 years, with a male preponderance (76.7%). The main cause for cirrhosis was alcohol (53.3%), followed by alcohol plus chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (20%) and HCV virus infection alone (13.3%). The most common causes for admission were sepsis/septic shock (26.7%), surgical (23.4%), gastrointestinal bleeding and hepatic encephalopathy (16.7% each). At admission, these patients presented an average Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score of 23.5 ± 10.4 with 70% classified as grade C in the Child-Pugh score; mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE II) 29.2 ± 8.7 and new Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS II) 62.7 ± 29. Regarding organ failure at admission, the mean Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score was 12.8 ± 4.5. The ICU mortality of these patients was 43.3% and hospital mortality was 53.3%. The variables at admission that related significantly with ICU mortality were: all scores described except for Child-Pugh score, bilirubin, the International Normalized Ratio, creatinine, bicarbonate, lactate, pH and the use of renal replacement therapy during the ICU stay (P < 0.05). The mortality rate of cirrhotic patients was superior to the general ICU mortality (43% vs. 26%). However, patients with cirrhosis presented significantly higher severity scoring systems (APACHE II; SAPS II) at admission compared with noncirrhotics, with high prevalence of organ dysfunction as assessed by SOFA score.