ResearchPad - bilirubin https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A pilot study of ex-vivo MRI-PDFF of donor livers for assessment of steatosis and predicting early graft dysfunction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14544 The utility of ex vivo Magnetic resonance imaging proton density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF) in donor liver fat quantification is unknown.PurposeTo evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and utility in predicting early allograft dysfunction (EAD) of ex vivo MRI-PDFF measurement of fat in deceased donor livers using histology as the gold standard.MethodsWe performed Ex vivo, 1.5 Tesla MRI-PDFF on 33 human deceased donor livers before implantation, enroute to the operating room. After the exclusion of 4 images (technical errors), 29 MRI images were evaluable. Histology was evaluable in 27 of 29 patients. EAD was defined as a peak value of aminotransferase >2000 IU/mL during the first week or an INR of ≥1.6 or bilirubin ≥10 mg/dL at day 7.ResultsMRI-PDFF values showed a strong positive correlation (Pearson’s correlation coefficient) when histology (macro-steatosis) was included (r = 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.57‐0.89, p<0.0001). The correlation appeared much stronger when macro plus micro-steatosis were included (r = 0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.72‐0.94, p<0.0001). EAD was noted in 7(25%) subjects. AUC (Area Under the Curve) for macro steatosis (histology) predicted EAD in 73% (95% CI: 48–99), micro plus macro steatosis in 76% (95% CI: 49–100). AUC for PDFF values predicted EAD in 67(35–98). Comparison of the ROC curves in a multivariate model revealed, adding MRI PDFF values to macro steatosis increased the ability of the model in predicting EAD (AUC: 79%, 95% CI: 59–99), and addition of macro plus micro steatosis based on histology predicted EAD even better (AUC: 90%: 79–100, P = 0.054).ConclusionIn this pilot study, MRI-PDFF imaging showed potential utility in quantifying hepatic steatosis ex-vivo donor liver evaluation and the ability to predict EAD related to severe allograft steatosis in the recipient. ]]> <![CDATA[Severe hyperbilirubinemia is associated with higher risk of contrast-related acute kidney injury following contrast-enhanced computed tomography]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N624c57d4-8983-4ece-aecc-e0e7860066cf

Introduction

Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is associated with high risks of morbidity and mortality. Hyperbilirubinemia might have some renal protection but with no clear cutoff value for protection. Related studies are typically on limited numbers of patients and only in conditions of vascular intervention.

Methods

We performed this study to elucidate CI-AKI in patients after contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CCT). The outcomes were CI-AKI, dialysis and mortality. Patients were divided to three groups based on their serum levels of total bilirubin: ≤1.2 mg/dl, 1.3–2.0 mg/dl, and >2.0 mg/dl.

Results

We enrolled a total of 9,496 patients who had received CCT. Patients with serum total bilirubin >2.0 mg/dl were associated with CI-AKI. Those undergoing dialysis had the highest incidence of PC-AKI (p<0.001). No difference was found between the two groups of total bilirubin ≤1.2 and 1.3–2.0 mg/dl. Patients with total bilirubin >2mg/dl were associated with CI-AKI (OR = 1.89, 1.53–2.33 of 95% CI), dialysis (OR = 1.40, 1.01–1.95 of 95% CI) and mortality (OR = 1.63, 1.38–1.93 of 95% CI) after adjusting for laboratory data and all comorbidities (i.e., cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, and acute myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, gastrointestinal bleeding, cirrhosis, peritonitis, ascites, hepatoma, shock lung and colon cancer). We concluded that total bilirubin level >2 mg/dl is an independent risk factor for CI-AKI, dialysis and mortality after CCT. These patients also had high risks for cirrhosis or hepatoma.

Conclusion

This is the first study providing evidence that hyperbilirubinemia (total bilirubin >2.0 mg/dl) being an independent risk factor for CI-AKI, dialysis and mortality after receiving CCT. Most patients with total bilirubin >2.0mg/dl had cirrhosis or hepatoma.

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<![CDATA[The role of the erythrocyte in the outcome of pregnancy with preeclampsia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897713d5eed0c4847d23cc

The objective of this study was to analyze the relationships of osmotic and mechanical stability of erythrocytes with anthropometric, biochemical, hematologic and hemodynamic variables in pregnant women with preeclampsia (PE). The studied population consisted of 20 normotensive patients and 16 patients with PE. Patients with PE presented worse gestational outcome, greater hematologic impairment, erythrocytes osmotically more stable in vitro, but in conditions of isotonicity with the in vivo medium, in addition to hyperflow in orbital territory, when compared to normotensive patients. The correlation analysis between anthropometric, hematologic and hemodynamic variables in patients with PE indicated that erythrocytes with lower volumes and lower levels of hemoglobin favor the occurrence of a better gestational outcome, because they are more stable and because they are associated with a decrease in the hemodynamic changes present in the disease. This should mean that the tendency to microcytosis, probably due to a mechanism of compensatory mechanical selection, is a desirable characteristic in the disease.

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<![CDATA[Development of a risk prediction model (Hangang) and comparison with clinical severity scores in burn patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce4d5eed0c484c81a27

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to develop a new prediction model to reflect the risk of mortality and severity of disease and to evaluate the ability of the developed model to predict mortality among adult burn patients.

Methods

This study included 2009 patients aged more than 18 years who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) within 24 hours after a burn. We divided the patients into two groups; those admitted from January 2007 to December 2013 were included in the derivation group and those admitted from January 2014 to September 2017 were included in the validation group. Shrinkage methods with 10-folds cross-validation were performed to identify variables and limit overfitting of the model. The discrimination was analyzed using the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curve. The Brier score, integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), and net reclassification improvement (NRI) were also calculated. The calibration was analyzed using the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test (HL test). The clinical usefulness was evaluated using a decision-curve analysis.

Results

The Hangang model showed good calibration with the HL test (χ2 = 8.785, p = 0.361); the highest AUC and the lowest Brier score were 0.943 and 0.068, respectively. The NRI and IDI were 0.124 (p-value = 0.003) and 0.079 (p-value <0.001) when compared with FLAMES, respectively.

Conclusions

This model reflects the current risk factors of mortality among adult burn patients. Furthermore, it was a highly discriminatory and well-calibrated model for the prediction of mortality in this cohort.

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<![CDATA[Prediction of all-cause mortality after liver transplantation using left ventricular systolic and diastolic function assessment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79afc8d5eed0c4841e3741

Although pretransplant cardiac dysfunction is considered a major predictor of poor outcomes after liver transplantation (LT), the ability of left ventricular (LV) systolic/diastolic function (LVSF/LVDF), together or individually, to predict mortality after LT is poorly characterized. We retrospectively evaluated pretransplant clinical and Doppler echocardiographic data of 839 consecutive LT recipients from 2009 to 2012 aged 18–60 years. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality at 4 years. The overall survival rate was 91.2%. In multivariate Cox analysis, reduced LV ejection fraction (LVEF, P = 0.014) and decreased transmitral E/A ratio(P = 0.022) remained significant prognosticators. In LVSF analysis, patients with LVEF≤60% (quartile [Q]1) had higher mortality than those with LVEF>60% (hazard ratio = 1.90, 95% confidence interval = 1.15–3.15, P = 0.012). In LVDF analysis, patients with an E/A ratio<0.9(Q1) had a 2.19-fold higher risk of death (95% confidence interval = 1.11–4.32, P = 0.024) than those with an E/A ratio>1.4(Q4). In combined LVDF and LVSF analysis, patients with an E/A ratio<0.9 and LVEF≤60% had poorer survival outcomes than patients with an E/A ratio≥0.9 and LVEF>60% (79.5% versus 93.3%, P = 0.001). Patients with an early mitral inflow velocity/annular velocity (E/e’ ratio)>11.5(Q4) and LV stroke volume index (LVSVI)<33mL/m2(Q1) showed worse survival than those with an E/e’ ratio≤11.5 and LVSVI ≥33mL/m2(78.4% versus 92.2%, P = 0.003). A combination of LVSF and LVDF is a better predictor of survival than LVSF or LVDF alone.

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<![CDATA[Elevated bilirubin levels are associated with a better renal prognosis and ameliorate kidney fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbbd2

Background

Bilirubin has been reported to protect against kidney injury. However, further studies highlighting the beneficial effects of bilirubin on renal fibrosis and chronic renal function decline are necessary.

Methods

We assessed a prospective cohort with a reference range of total bilirubin levels. The primary outcome was a 30% reduction in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from baseline, and the secondary outcome was a doubling of the serum creatinine levels, halving of the eGFR and the initiation of dialysis. In addition, experiments with tubular epithelial cells and C57BL/6 mice were performed to investigate the protective effects of bilirubin on kidney fibrosis.

Results

As a result, 1,080 patients were included in the study cohort. The study group with relative hyperbilirubinemia (total bilirubin 0.8–1.2 mg/dL) showed a better prognosis in terms of the primary outcome (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.33, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19–0.59, P < 0.001) and the secondary outcome (adjusted HR 0.20, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.71, P = 0.01) than that of the control group. Moreover, the bilirubin-treated mice showed less fibrosis in the unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) model (P < 0.05). In addition, bilirubin treatment decreased fibronectin expression in tubular epithelial cells in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

Mildly elevated serum bilirubin levels were associated with better renal prognosis, and bilirubin treatment induced a beneficial effect on renal fibrosis. Therefore, bilirubin could be a potential therapeutic target to delay fibrosis-related kidney disease progression.

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<![CDATA[Improved Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Diagnosis in Jaundiced and Non-Jaundiced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Patients through the Combination of Routine Clinical Markers Associated to Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Pathophysiology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8b64

Background

There is still no reliable biomarker for the diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Carbohydrate antigen 19–9 (CA 19–9) is a tumor marker only recommended for pancreatic adenocarcinoma follow-up. One of the clinical problems lies in distinguishing between this cancer and other benign pancreatic diseases such as chronic pancreatitis. In this study we will assess the value of panels of serum molecules related to pancreatic cancer physiopathology to determine whether alone or in combination could help to discriminate between these two pathologies.

Methods

CA 19–9, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), C-reactive protein, albumin, insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and IGF binding protein-3 were measured using routine clinical analyzers in a cohort of 47 pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 20 chronic pancreatitis and 15 healthy controls.

Results

The combination of CA 19–9, IGF-1 and albumin resulted in a combined area under the curve (AUC) of 0.959 with 93.6% sensitivity and 95% specificity, much higher than CA 19–9 alone. An algorithm was defined to classify the patients as chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer with the above specificity and sensitivity. In an independent validation group of 20 pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 13 chronic pancreatitis patients, the combination of the four molecules classified correctly all pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 12 out of 13 chronic pancreatitis patients.

Conclusions

Although this panel of markers should be validated in larger cohorts, the high sensitivity and specificity values and the convenience to measure these parameters in clinical laboratories shows great promise for improving pancreatic adenocarcinoma diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Reduced total serum bilirubin levels are associated with ulcerative colitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be04a9

Chronic inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results in increased oxidative stress that damages the colonic microenvironment. Low levels of serum bilirubin, an endogenous antioxidant, have been associated with increased risk for Crohn’s disease (CD). Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether total serum bilirubin levels are associated with ulcerative colitis (UC). We identified a retrospective case-control population (n = 6,649) from a single tertiary care center, Penn State Hershey Medical Center (PSU) and a validation cohort (n = 1,996) from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (VCU). Cases were age- and sex-matched to controls (PSU: CD n = 254, UC n = 187; VCU: CD n = 233, UC n = 124). Total serum bilirubin levels were obtained from de-identified medical records and segregated into quartiles. Logistic regression analysis was performed on each quartile of total serum bilirubin compared to the last quartile (highest bilirubin levels) to determine the association of total serum bilirubin with UC. Similar to CD patients, UC patients demonstrated reduced levels of total serum bilirubin compared to controls at PSU and VCU. The lowest quartile of total serum bilirubin was independently associated with UC for the PSU (OR: 1.98 [95% CI: 1.09–3.63]) and VCU cohorts (OR: 6.07 [95% CI: 3.01–12.75]). Lower levels of the antioxidant bilirubin may reduce the capability of UC patients to remove reactive oxygen species leading to an increase in intestinal injury. Therapeutics that reduce oxidative stress may be beneficial for these patients.

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<![CDATA[Prognostic impact of diabetes mellitus on hepatocellular carcinoma: Special emphasis from the BCLC perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc160

Background

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with higher incidence and poorer prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The influence of DM on patient survival in different HCC stages is not known.

Methods

A prospective dataset of 3,182 HCC patients was collected between 2002 and 2014. Patients were divided into three groups according to BCLC stages (BCLC stage 0 and stage A, BCLC stage B, BCLC stage C and stage D). We compared the cumulative survival rate of diabetic and non-diabetic patients in different BCLC groups. The correlation between DM and overall survival was also analyzed by multivariate Cox regression model within each group.

Results

DM is present in 25.2% of all patients. Diabetic patients had lower cumulative survival in BCLC stage 0 plus BCLC stage A group (log rank p<0.001), and BCLC stage B group (log rank p = 0.012), but not in BCLC stage C plus BCLC stage D group (log rank p = 0.132). Statistically significant differences in overall survival are found between diabetic and non-diabetic patients in BCLC stage 0 plus stage A group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08–1.93, p = 0.013), and BCLC stage B (adjusted HR = 1.77, 95% CI 1.24–2.51, p = 0.002). In contrast, the survival difference is not seen in BCLC stage C plus stage D group (adjusted HR = 1.09, 95% CI 0.90–1.30, p = 0.387).

Conclusions

DM is prevalent in HCC, and is associated with lower survival rate in HCC patients with BCLC stage 0 plus stage A and B, but not in those with BCLC stage C plus stage D.

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<![CDATA[The Negative Relationship between Bilirubin Level and Diabetic Retinopathy: A Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd02e0

Objectives

Findings on the relationship between total bilirubin level (TBL) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are inconsistent. Thus, we carried out a meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between TBL and the risk of DR.

Methods

Relevant studies were selected from six databases up to 31 May 2016 using a search strategy. The relevant data were extracted from the included studies according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the mean value with standard errors or odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. We compared TBL in patients with DR with that in patients with diabetes but without retinopathy (NDR), and analyzed the dose-response relationship between TBL and the risk of DR.

Results

Twenty-four studies were selected in this meta-analysis. Twenty studies were included to calculate the pooled SMD, and the results showed that TBL in the DR group was lower than that in the NDR group (SMD: –0.52, 95% CI: –0.67, –0.38). Nine studies were included to calculate the pooled ORs, and the results showed that there was a significant negative relationship between TBL and the risk of DR (OR: 0.19, 95% CI: 0.14, 0.25). Six studies were included to investigate the dose-response relationship between TBL and the risk of DR, and we found a nonlinear relationship between TBL and the risk of DR. The results of our meta-analysis were found to be reliable using subgroup and sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions

The results of our meta-analysis indicate that higher TBL may be protective against DR in subjects with diabetes, and TBL could be used as a biomarker to predict the risk of DR.

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<![CDATA[Heliotherapy for Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia in Southwest, Nigeria: A Baseline Pre-Intervention Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da13ab0ee8fa60b7a71f

Background

A novel filtered-sunlight phototherapy (FSPT) device has been demonstrated to be safe and efficacious for treating infants with neonatal jaundice in resource-constrained tropical settings. We set out to provide baseline data for evaluating the clinical impact of this device in a referral pediatric hospital.

Methods

We reviewed the medical records of infants admitted for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in an inner-city Children’s Hospital in Lagos, between January 2012 and December 2014 to determine the pattern, treatment and outcomes during the pre-intervention period. Factors associated with adverse outcomes were identified through multivariable logistic regression.

Results

Of the 5,229 neonatal admissions over the period, a total of 1,153 (22.1%) were admitted for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Complete records for 1,118 infants were available for analysis. The incidence of acute bilirubin encephalopathy (ABE) and exchange transfusion (ET) were 17.0% (95% CI: 14.9%–19.3%) and 31.5% (95% CI: 28.8%–34.3%) respectively. A total of 61 (5.5%, 95% CI: 4.3%–6.9%) of the jaundiced infants died. Weight on admission, peak total serum bilirubin (TSB), sepsis and exposure to hemolytic products were predictive of ABE, while age on admission, peak TSB, ABO incompatibility and ABE were predictive of ET. Rhesus incompatibility, asphyxia, exposure to hemolytic substances and ABE were associated with elevated mortality risk, while ET was a protective factor. Lack of routine irradiance monitoring and steady energy supply were frequent challenges for conventional blue-light phototherapy.

Conclusions

Severe hyperbilirubinemia is associated with high rates of ABE and ET in this setting, and remains a significant contributor to neonatal admissions and mortality. To be impactful, FSPT, complemented with improved diagnostic facilities, should effectively curtail jaundice-related adverse outcomes in this and comparable settings.

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<![CDATA[Low sphingosine-1-phosphate plasma levels are predictive for increased mortality in patients with liver cirrhosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc003

Background & aim

The association of circulating sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid involved in various cellular processes, and related metabolites such as sphinganine-1-phosphate (SA1P) and sphingosine (SPH) with mortality in patients with end-stage liver disease is investigated in the presented study. S1P as a bioactive lipid mediator, is involved in several cellular processes, however, in end-stage liver disease its role is not understood.

Methods

The study cohort consisted of 95 patients with end-stage liver disease and available information on one-year outcome. The median MELD (Model for end-stage liver disease) score was 12.41 (Range 6.43–39.63). The quantification of sphingolipids in citrated plasma specimen was performed after methanolic protein precipitation followed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometric detection.

Results

S1P and SA1P displayed significant correlations with the MELD score. Patients with circulating S1P levels below the lowest tertile (110.68 ng/ml) showed the poorest one-year survival rate of only 57.1%, whereas one-year survival rate in patients with S1P plasma levels above 165.67 ng/ml was 93.8%. In a multivariate cox regression analysis including platelet counts, concentrations of hemoglobin and MELD score, S1P remained a significant predictor for three-month and one-year mortality.

Conclusions

Low plasma S1P concentrations are highly significantly associated with prognosis in end-stage liver disease. This association is independent of the stage of liver disease. Further studies should be performed to investigate S1P, its role in the pathophysiology of liver diseases and its potential for therapeutic interventions.

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<![CDATA[Alcohol Consumption-Related Metabolites in Relation to Colorectal Cancer and Adenoma: Two Case-Control Studies Using Serum Biomarkers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87e57

Alcohol is a known carcinogen that may be associated with colorectal cancer. However, most epidemiologic studies assess alcoholic beverage consumption using self-reported data, leading to potential exposure misclassification. Biomarkers of alcohol consumption may provide an alternative, complementary approach that reduces misclassification and incorporates individual differences in alcohol metabolism. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between previously identified alcohol consumption-related metabolites and colorectal cancer and adenoma using serum metabolomics data from two studies. Data on colorectal cancer were obtained from a nested case-control study of 502 US adults (252 cases, 250 controls) within the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Data on colorectal adenoma were obtained from a case-control study of 197 US adults (120 cases, 77 controls) from the Navy Colon Adenoma Study. Unconditional multivariable logistic regression models were fit to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for eight alcohol consumption-related metabolites identified in a previous analysis: ethyl glucuronide; 4-androstene-3beta,17beta-diol disulfate 1; 5-alpha-androstan-3beta,17beta-diol disulfate; 16-hydroxypalmitate; bilirubin (E,Z or Z,E); cyclo (-leu-pro); dihomo-linoleate (20:2n6); and palmitoleate (16:1n7). We found no clear association between these alcohol consumption-related metabolites and either endpoint. However, we did observe an inverse association between cyclo (-leu-pro) and colorectal adenoma that was only observed in the highest metabolite quantile (OR 4th vs. 1st Quantile = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.12–0.78; P-trend = 0.047), but no association for colorectal cancer. In conclusion, there were no adverse associations between alcohol consumption-related metabolites and colorectal cancer or adenoma.

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<![CDATA[Regioselective Glucuronidation of Diosmetin and Chrysoeriol by the Interplay of Glucuronidation and Transport in UGT1A9-Overexpressing HeLa Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9deab0ee8fa60b6879e

This study aimed to determine the reaction kinetics of the regioselective glucuronidation of diosmetin and chrysoeriol, two important methylated metabolites of luteolin, by human liver microsomes (HLMs) and uridine-5′-diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase (UGTs) enzymes. This study also investigated the effects of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) on the efflux of diosmetin and chrysoeriol glucuronides in HeLa cells overexpressing UGT1A9 (HeLa—UGT1A9). After incubation with HLMs in the presence of UDP-glucuronic acid, diosmetin and chrysoeriol gained two glucuronides each, and the OH—in each B ring of diosmetin and chrysoeriol was the preferable site for glucuronidation. Screening assays with 12 human expressed UGT enzymes and chemical-inhibition assays demonstrated that glucuronide formation was almost exclusively catalyzed by UGT1A1, UGT1A6, and UGT1A9. Importantly, in HeLa—UGT1A9, Ko143 significantly inhibited the efflux of diosmetin and chrysoeriol glucuronides and increased their intracellular levels in a dose-dependent manner. This observation suggested that BCRP-mediated excretion was the predominant pathway for diosmetin and chrysoeriol disposition. In conclusion, UGT1A1, UGT1A6, and UGT1A9 were the chief contributors to the regioselective glucuronidation of diosmetin and chrysoeriol in the liver. Moreover, cellular glucuronidation was significantly altered by inhibiting BCRP, revealing a notable interplay between glucuronidation and efflux transport. Diosmetin and chrysoeriol possibly have different effects on anti-cancer due to the difference of UGT isoforms in different cancer cells.

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<![CDATA[Initial assessment of the infant with neonatal cholestasis—Is this biliary atresia?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf713

Introduction

Optimizing outcome in biliary atresia (BA) requires timely diagnosis. Cholestasis is a presenting feature of BA, as well as other diagnoses (Non-BA). Identification of clinical features of neonatal cholestasis that would expedite decisions to pursue subsequent invasive testing to correctly diagnose or exclude BA would enhance outcomes. The analytical goal was to develop a predictive model for BA using data available at initial presentation.

Methods

Infants at presentation with neonatal cholestasis (direct/conjugated bilirubin >2 mg/dl [34.2 μM]) were enrolled prior to surgical exploration in a prospective observational multi-centered study (PROBE–NCT00061828). Clinical features (physical findings, laboratory results, gallbladder sonography) at enrollment were analyzed. Initially, 19 features were selected as candidate predictors. Two approaches were used to build models for diagnosis prediction: a hierarchical classification and regression decision tree (CART) and a logistic regression model using a stepwise selection strategy.

Results

In PROBE April 2004-February 2014, 401 infants met criteria for BA and 259 for Non-BA. Univariate analysis identified 13 features that were significantly different between BA and Non-BA. Using a CART predictive model of BA versus Non-BA (significant factors: gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, acholic stools, weight), the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC) was 0.83. Twelve percent of BA infants were misclassified as Non-BA; 17% of Non-BA infants were misclassified as BA. Stepwise logistic regression identified seven factors in a predictive model (ROC AUC 0.89). Using this model, a predicted probability of >0.8 (n = 357) yielded an 81% true positive rate for BA; <0.2 (n = 120) yielded an 11% false negative rate.

Conclusion

Despite the relatively good accuracy of our optimized prediction models, the high precision required for differentiating BA from Non-BA was not achieved. Accurate identification of BA in infants with neonatal cholestasis requires further evaluation, and BA should not be excluded based only on presenting clinical features.

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<![CDATA[Metabolomic Characterizations of Liver Injury Caused by Acute Arsenic Toxicity in Zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5aab0ee8fa60b8fcac

Arsenic is one of the most common metalloid contaminants in groundwater and it has both acute and chronic toxicity affecting multiple organs. Details of the mechanism of arsenic toxicity are still lacking and profile studies at metabolic level are very limited. Using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectroscopy (GC/MS), we first generated metabolomic profiles from the livers of arsenic-treated zebrafish and identified 34 significantly altered metabolite peaks as potential markers, including four prominent ones: cholic acid, glycylglycine, glycine and hypotaurine. Combined results from GC/MS, histological examination and pathway analyses suggested a series of alterations, including apoptosis, glycogenolysis, changes in amino acid metabolism and fatty acid composition, accumulation of bile acids and fats, and disturbance in glycolysis related energy metabolism. The alterations in glycolysis partially resemble Warburg effect commonly observed in many cancer cells. However, cellular damages were not reflected in two conventional liver function tests performed, Bilirubin assay and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) assay, probably because the short arsenate exposure was insufficient to induce detectable damage. This study demonstrated that metabolic changes could reflect mild liver impairments induced by arsenic exposure, which underscored their potential in reporting early liver injury.

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<![CDATA[Graft-derived cell-free DNA, a noninvasive early rejection and graft damage marker in liver transplantation: A prospective, observational, multicenter cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf295

Background

Graft-derived cell-free DNA (GcfDNA), which is released into the blood stream by necrotic and apoptotic cells, is a promising noninvasive organ integrity biomarker. In liver transplantation (LTx), neither conventional liver function tests (LTFs) nor immunosuppressive drug monitoring are very effective for rejection monitoring. We therefore hypothesized that the quantitative measurement of donor-derived cell-free DNA (cfDNA) would have independent value for the assessment of graft integrity, including damage from acute rejection.

Methods and findings

Traditional LFTs were performed and plasma GcfDNA was monitored in 115 adults post-LTx at three German transplant centers as part of a prospective, observational, multicenter cohort trial. GcfDNA percentage (graft cfDNA/total cfDNA) was measured using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), based on a limited number of predefined single nucleotide polymorphisms, enabling same-day turn-around. The same method was used to quantify blood microchimerism. GcfDNA was increased >50% on day 1 post-LTx, presumably from ischemia/reperfusion damage, but rapidly declined in patients without graft injury within 7 to 10 d to a median <10%, where it remained for the 1-y observation period. Of 115 patients, 107 provided samples that met preestablished criteria. In 31 samples taken from 17 patients during biopsy-proven acute rejection episodes, the percentage of GcfDNA was elevated substantially (median 29.6%, 95% CI 23.6%–41.0%) compared with that in 282 samples from 88 patients during stable periods (median 3.3%, 95% CI 2.9%–3.7%; p < 0.001). Only slightly higher values (median 5.9%, 95% CI 4.4%–10.3%) were found in 68 samples from 17 hepatitis C virus (HCV)–positive, rejection-free patients. LFTs had low overall correlations (r = 0.28–0.62) with GcfDNA and showed greater overlap between patient subgroups, especially between acute rejection and HCV+ patients. Multivariable logistic regression modeling demonstrated that GcfDNA provided additional LFT-independent information on graft integrity. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were 90.3% (95% CI 74.2%–98.0%) and 92.9% (95% CI 89.3%–95.6%), respectively, for GcfDNA at a threshold value of 10%. The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve was higher for GcfDNA (97.1%, 95% CI 93.4%–100%) than for same-day conventional LFTs (AST: 95.7%; ALT: 95.2%; γ-GT: 94.5%; bilirubin: 82.6%). An evaluation of microchimerism revealed that the maximum donor DNA in circulating white blood cells was only 0.068%. GcfDNA percentage can be influenced by major changes in host cfDNA (e.g., due to leukopenia or leukocytosis). One limitation of our study is that exact time-matched GcfDNA and LFT samples were not available for all patient visits.

Conclusions

In this study, determination of GcfDNA in plasma by ddPCR allowed for earlier and more sensitive discrimination of acute rejection in LTx patients as compared with conventional LFTs. Potential blood microchimerism was quantitatively low and had no significant influence on GcfDNA value. Further research, which should ideally include protocol biopsies, will be needed to establish the practical value of GcfDNA measurements in the management of LTx patients.

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<![CDATA[Long-term efficacy and safety of nalfurafine hydrochloride on pruritus in chronic liver disease patients: Patient-reported outcome based analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5eab0ee8fa60be0aad

Background and aim

Among various symptoms accompanied with chronic liver disease, pruritus affects the quality of life of patients, causing physical and mental stress, and worsens hepatic function. Recently, κ-opioid receptor agonist, nalfurafine hydrochloride was approved to treat central pruritus in patients with liver disease in Japan. This study aimed to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of nalfurafine hydrochloride on pruritus in chronic liver disease patients.

Methods

A patient-reported outcome using questionnaire-based methods was used for 41 liver disease patients with or without pruritus symptoms. Nalfurafine hydrochloride (2.5 μg/day) was orally administered to 18 patients suffering from pruritus symptoms and whose current treatment was not effective. The same questionnaires and visual analogue scales (VAS) were repeatedly followed up for the patients for the entire follow-up period, and biochemical analyses were performed to evaluate the safety of the treatment.

Results

Pruritus completely disappeared in seven of 18 cases, and VAS scores showed a decreasing trend over time from the start of nalfurafine hydrochloride administration in all patients who received the medication. Among 11 patients who were followed up for more than 12 weeks, nine patients showed continuous improvement of symptoms, and this progress was still apparent at ≥20 weeks after starting administration (p < 0.0001). The medication was discontinued in four patients because of progression of primary disease, high cost, oral dryness, and anemia. No significant toxicity was observed on the serum biochemical analyses.

Conclusions

Nalfurafine hydrochloride contributed to long-term suppression of pruritus without significant safety problems.

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<![CDATA[Covered versus Uncovered Self-Expandable Metal Stents for Managing Malignant Distal Biliary Obstruction: A Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba76da

Aim

To compare the efficacy of using covered self-expandable metal stents (CSEMSs) and uncovered self-expandable metal stents (UCSEMSs) to treat objective jaundice caused by an unresectable malignant tumor.

Methods

We performed a comprehensive electronic search from 1980 to May 2015. All randomized controlled trials comparing the use of CSEMSs and UCSEMSs to treat malignant distal biliary obstruction were included.

Results

The analysis included 1417 patients enrolled in 14 trials. We did not detect significant differences between the UCSEMS group and the CSEMS group in terms of cumulative stent patency (hazard ratio (HR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19–4.53; p = 0.93, I2 = 0%), patient survival (HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.05–10.87; p = 0.85, I2 = 0%), overall stent dysfunction (relative ratio (RR) 0.85, M-H, random, 95% CI 0.57–1.25; p = 0.83, I2 = 63%), the overall complication rate (RR 1.26, M-H, fixed, 95% CI 0.94–1.68; p = 0.12, I2 = 0%) or the change in serum bilirubin (weighted mean difference (WMD) -0.13, IV fixed, 95% CI 0.56–0.3; p = 0.55, I2 = 0%). However, we did detect a significant difference in the main causes of stent dysfunction between the two groups. In particular, the CSEMS group exhibited a lower rate of tumor ingrowth (RR 0.25, M-H, random, 95% CI 0.12–0.52; p = 0.002, I2 = 40%) but a higher rate of tumor overgrowth (RR 1.76, M-H, fixed, 95% CI 1.03–3.02; p = 0.04, I2 = 0%). Patients with CSEMSs also exhibited a higher migration rate (RR 9.33, M-H, fixed, 95% CI 2.54–34.24; p = 0.008, I2 = 0%) and a higher rate of sludge formation (RR 2.47, M-H, fixed, 95% CI 1.36–4.50; p = 0.003, I2 = 0%).

Conclusions

Our meta-analysis indicates that there is no significant difference in primary stent patency and stent dysfunction between CSEMSs and UCSEMSs during the period from primary stent insertion to primary stent dysfunction or patient death. However, when taking further management for occluded stents into consideration, CSEMSs is a better choice for patients with malignant biliary obstruction due to their removability.

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<![CDATA[Predicting functional decline and survival in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc646

Background

Better predictors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease course could enable smaller and more targeted clinical trials. Partially to address this aim, the Prize for Life foundation collected de-identified records from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sufferers who participated in clinical trials of investigational drugs and made them available to researchers in the PRO-ACT database.

Methods

In this study, time series data from PRO-ACT subjects were fitted to exponential models. Binary classes for decline in the total score of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale revised (ALSFRS-R) (fast/slow progression) and survival (high/low death risk) were derived. Data was segregated into training and test sets via cross validation. Learning algorithms were applied to the demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters in the training set to predict ALSFRS-R decline and the derived fast/slow progression and high/low death risk categories. The performance of predictive models was assessed by cross-validation in the test set using Receiver Operator Curves and root mean squared errors.

Results

A model created using a boosting algorithm containing the decline in four parameters (weight, alkaline phosphatase, albumin and creatine kinase) post baseline, was able to predict functional decline class (fast or slow) with fair accuracy (AUC = 0.82). However similar approaches to build a predictive model for decline class by baseline subject characteristics were not successful. In contrast, baseline values of total bilirubin, gamma glutamyltransferase, urine specific gravity and ALSFRS-R item score—climbing stairs were sufficient to predict survival class.

Conclusions

Using combinations of small numbers of variables it was possible to predict classes of functional decline and survival across the 1–2 year timeframe available in PRO-ACT. These findings may have utility for design of future ALS clinical trials.

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