ResearchPad - chronic-liver-disease https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Development and validation a nomogram for predicting the risk of severe COVID-19: A multi-center study in Sichuan, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15747 Since December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan and spread across the globe. The objective of this study is to build and validate a practical nomogram for estimating the risk of severe COVID-19.MethodsA cohort of 366 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was used to develop a prediction model using data collected from 47 locations in Sichuan province from January 2020 to February 2020. The primary outcome was the development of severe COVID-19 during hospitalization. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression model was used to reduce data size and select relevant features. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to build a prediction model incorporating the selected features. The performance of the nomogram regarding the C-index, calibration, discrimination, and clinical usefulness was assessed. Internal validation was assessed by bootstrapping.ResultsThe median age of the cohort was 43 years. Severe patients were older than mild patients by a median of 6 years. Fever, cough, and dyspnea were more common in severe patients. The individualized prediction nomogram included seven predictors: body temperature at admission, cough, dyspnea, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic liver disease, and chronic kidney disease. The model had good discrimination with an area under the curve of 0.862, C-index of 0.863 (95% confidence interval, 0.801–0.925), and good calibration. A high C-index value of 0.839 was reached in the interval validation. Decision curve analysis showed that the prediction nomogram was clinically useful.ConclusionWe established an early warning model incorporating clinical characteristics that could be quickly obtained on admission. This model can be used to help predict severe COVID-19 and identify patients at risk of developing severe disease. ]]> <![CDATA[Improvement in Quality of Life and Decrease in Large‐Volume Paracentesis Requirements With the Automated Low‐Flow Ascites Pump]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6848 The automated low‐flow ascites pump (alfapump) is an implantable device that drains ascites directly into the urinary bladder. We studied its safety (absence of serious complications) and efficacy (decreased large‐volume paracentesis [LVP] requirement and improved quality of life [QoL]) in the management of ascites in a cohort of North American patients with cirrhosis and recurrent ascites ineligible for transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). QoL was measured by the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) and Ascites Questionnaire (Ascites Q). Following alfapump implantation, patients were monitored for ascites control, laboratory abnormalities, QoL, adverse events, and survival at 12 months. A total of 30 patients (60.0 ± 9.9 years; 57% male; Model for End‐Stage Liver Disease score, 11.4 ± 2.7) received an alfapump, mostly by an interventional radiology approach (97%), followed by longterm prophylactic antibiotics. The alfapump removed a mean ascites volume of 230.6 ± 148.9 L/patient at 12 months, dramatically reducing the mean LVP frequency from 2.4 ± 1.4/patient/month before pump implantation to 0.2 ± 0.4/patient/month after pump implantation. All surviving patients had improved QoL (baseline versus 3 months; CLDQ, 3.9 ± 1.21 versus 5.0 ± 1.0; Ascites Q, 51.7 ± 21.9 versus 26.7 ± 18.6; P < 0.001 for both) and a better biochemical index of nutritional status (prealbumin 87.8 ± 37.5 versus 102.9 ± 45.3 mg/L at 3 months; P = 0.04). Bacterial infections (15 events in 13 patients), electrolyte abnormalities (11 events in 6 patients), and renal complications (11 events in 9 patients) were the most common severe adverse events. By 12 months, 4 patients died from complications of cirrhosis. Alfapump insertion may be a definitive treatment for refractory ascites in cirrhosis, especially in patients who are not TIPS candidates.

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<![CDATA[Real-life experience of lusutrombopag for cirrhotic patients with low platelet counts being prepared for invasive procedures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70675dd5eed0c4847c6f1c

Background and aims

The present study aimed to report our real-life experience of the TPO receptor agonist lusutrombopag for cirrhotic patients with low platelet counts.

Methods

We studied platelet counts in 1,760 cirrhotic patients undergoing invasive procedures at our hospital between January 2014 and December 2017. In addition, we studied 25 patients who were administered lusutrombopag before invasive procedures between June 2017 and January 2018. Effectiveness of lusutrombopag to raise platelet counts and to avoid transfusion and treatment-related adverse events were analyzed.

Results

In 1,760 cirrhotic patients without lusutrombopag prior to invasive procedures, proportion of patients whose platelet counts <50,000/μL and needed platelet transfusions were 66% (n = 27/41) for radiofrequency ablation, 43% (n = 21/49) for transarterial chemoembolization, and 55% (n = 21/38) for endoscopic injection sclerotherapy / endoscopic variceal ligation, respectively. In 25 cirrhotic patients treated by lusutrombopag prior to the invasive procedures, platelet counts significantly increased compared with baseline (82,000 ± 26,000 vs. 41,000 ± 11,000/μL) (p < 0.01). Out of 25 patients, only 4 patients (16%) needed platelet transfusion before the invasive procedures. The proportion of patients with low platelet count and who needed platelet transfusions was significantly low in patients treated with lusutrombopag compared to those not treated with lusutrombopag (16% (4/25) vs. 54% (69/128), p = 0.001). Platelet counts after lusutrombopag treatment and prior to invasive procedures were lower in patients with a baseline platelet count ≤30,000/μL (n = 8) compared with those with a baseline platelet count >30,000/μL (n = 17) (50,000 ± 20,000 vs 86,000 ± 26,000/μL, p = 0.002). Patients with a baseline platelet count ≤30,000/μL with spleen index (calculated by multiplying the transverse diameter by the vertical diameter measured by ultrasonography) ≥40 cm2 (n = 3) had a lower response rate to lusutrombopag compared to those with spleen index <40 cm2 (n = 5) (0% vs. 100%, p = 0.02). Hemorrhagic complication was not observed. Recurrence of portal thrombosis was observed and thrombolysis therapy was required in one patient who had prior history of thrombosis.

Conclusions

Lusutrombopag is an effective and safe drug for thrombocytopenia in cirrhotic patients, and can reduce the frequency of platelet transfusions.

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<![CDATA[Healthcare value of implementing hepatitis C screening in the adult general population in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084202d5eed0c484fcb735

Background

Elimination of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection requires high diagnostic rates and universal access to treatment. Around 40% of infected individuals are unaware of their infection, which indicates that effective screening strategies are needed. We analyzed the efficiency (incremental cost-utility ratio, ICUR) of 3 HCV screening strategies: a) general population of adults, b) high-risk groups, and c) population with the highest anti-HCV prevalence plus high-risk groups.

Methods

An analytical decision model, projecting progression of the disease over a lifetime, was used to establish the candidate population for HCV screening. HCV data were obtained from the literature: anti-HCV prevalence (0.56%-1.54%), viremic patients (31.5%), and percentage of undiagnosed persons among those with viremia (35%). It was assumed that most patients would be treated and have HCV therapy response (98% SVR); transition probabilities, utilities, and disease management annual costs were obtained from the literature. Efficiency over the life of patients under the National Health System perspective was measured as quality-adjusted life years (QALY) and total cost (screening, diagnosis, pharmacological and disease management). A discount rate of 3% was applied to costs and outcomes.

Results

Screening of the adult population would identify a larger number of additional chronic hepatitis C cases (N = 52,694) than screening the highest anti-HCV prevalence population plus high-risk groups (N = 42,027) or screening high-risk groups (N = 26,128). ICUR for the general population vs. high-risk groups was €8914/QALY gained per patient (€18,157 incremental cost and 2.037 QALY). ICUR for the general population vs. population with highest anti-HCV prevalence plus high-risk groups was €7,448/QALY gained per patient (€7,733 incremental cost and 1.038 QALY). These ICUR values are below the accepted efficiency threshold (€22,000-€30,000).

Conclusion

HCV screening and treatment of the general adult population is cost-effective compared to screening of high-risk groups or the population with the highest anti-HCV prevalence plus high-risk groups.

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<![CDATA[Disease burden of hepatitis C in the Austrian state of Tyrol – Epidemiological data and model analysis to achieve elimination by 2030]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ff794463d7e28ade495c7

Background

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) and 69th World Health Assembly approved the first global health sector strategy (GHSS) on viral hepatitis with the goal to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections worldwide. The aim is a 90% reduction of new infections and 65% reduction of HCV-related deaths by 2030.

Aim

This study reports on the epidemiology of HCV infections in the Austrian state of Tyrol (total population 750,000) and uses a predictive model to identify how the WHO strategy for elimination of HCV can be achieved.

Methods

We developed a regional disease burden model based on observed local diagnosis data from 2001 to 2016. Scenarios were developed to evaluate the impact of diagnosis and treatment on HCV-related outcomes (viremic prevalence, decompensated cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related deaths) from 2015 through 2030.

Results

In the last 15 years, 1,721 patients living in Tyrol have been diagnosed with chronic HCV infection. When ageing, mortality and treatment were factored in, there were an estimated 2,043 viremic HCV infections in 2016, of which 1,136 cases had been diagnosed. A baseline model predicts a decrease of 588 HCV cases from 2015 to 2030, which would not translate into the significant reduction of infections needed to achieve WHO global health recommendations. A total of 1,843 infected individuals need to be identified and treated to achieve the WHO goals by 2030 (1,254 averted cases as compared to baseline model). Implementation of this strategy would avoid 523 new HCV infections and decreases HCV-related mortality by 73%.

Conclusion

HCV elimination and >65% reduction of associated mortality are possible for Tyrol, but requires a significant increase in new diagnoses and treatment rate. The model presented in this study could serve as an example for other regions to reliably predict regional disease burden and estimate how WHO goals can be met in the future.

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<![CDATA[Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Fibrotic Profile of Fish Oil Emulsions Used in Parenteral Nutrition-Associated Liver Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da29ab0ee8fa60b81d3e

Home parenteral nutrition (PN) is associated with many complications including severe hepatobiliary dysfunction. Commercial ω-6 fatty acid-soybean based-lipid emulsions in PN may mediate long term PN associate liver disease (PNALD) whereas ω-3-fish oil parenteral emulsions have shown to reverse PNALD in children. However, its clinical effectiveness in adults has been scarcely reported. In this work, we study the role of soybean and fish oil lipid commercial emulsions on inflammatory and profibrotic liver markers in adults with long term PNALD and in in vitro cellular models. Inflammatory and profibrotic markers were measured in serum of ten adults with long term PNALD and in culture supernatants of monocytes. Liver epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) was induced by transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFβ1) to evaluate in vitro liver fibrosis. Omegaven®, a 100% fish oil commercial emulsion, was infused during four months in two patients with severe long term PNALD reversing, at the first month, the inflammatory, profibrotic and clinical parameters of PNALD. The effect was maintained during the treatment course but impaired when conventional lipid emulsions were reintroduced. The other patients under chronic soybean oil-based PN showed elevated inflammatory and profibrotic parameters. In vitro human monocytes stimulated with lipopolysaccharide induced a strong inflammatory response that was suppressed by Omegaven®, but increased by soybean emulsions. In other experiments, TGFβ1 induced EMT that was suppressed by Omegaven® and enhanced by soybean oil lipid emulsions. Omegaven® improves clinical, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic parameters in adults with long-term home PNALD.

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<![CDATA[Development and Application of the Chinese (Mainland) Version of Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire to Assess the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd992e

Objective

To develop the Chinese (Mainland) version of Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) and use it to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients in China and identify the determinants of HRQoL.

Methods

The Chinese (Mainland) CLDQ was developed by expert consultation, focus group interviews with patients, and pilot study. The final version of questionnaire was adopted to assess the HRQoL of chronic hepatitis B outpatients enrolled from two largest infectious hospitals in Beijing. Cronbach’ s alpha was used to measure the internal consistency reliability. The construct validity was measured by factor analysis. T-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multi-variable linear regression were used to analyze the data.

Results

Cronbach’s alpha of the overall CLDQ is 0.935, ranging from 0.628 to o.881 among six subscales. Six factors were identified via factor analysis, including a new factor sleeping(SL). A total of 519 patients with CHB were included in the investigation with the final version of questionnaire, 405 of them were only with CHB, 53 with compensated cirrhosis, and 61 with decompensated cirrhosis. The CHB group scored the highest in the overall score of CLDQ (p<0.05). The score of worry (WO) domain was significantly lower in the compensated group than the CHB group (p<0.05). Decompensated cirrhosis patients scored lower than the CHB group in all CLDQ domains and the overall score (p<0.05). Stages of illness, gender, regular visits to specialized hospitals, and work status in last year were determinants of HRQoL.

Conclusion

The psychometric properties of the Chinese(Mainland) CLDQ is acceptable. The HRQoL of CHB patients deteriorated with disease progression. Advanced stages of CHB, female, long time absence from work after illness, and no job or retirement were determinants of poor HRQoL. Regular visits to specialized hospitals was a positive determinant of HRQoL.

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<![CDATA[Clinical Significance of Two Real-Time PCR Assays for Chronic Hepatitis C Patients Receiving Protease Inhibitor-Based Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcbe1

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of two hepatitis C virus (HCV) real-time PCR assays, the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV test (CAP/CTM) and the Abbott RealTime HCV test (ART), for predicting the clinical outcomes of patients infected with HCV who received telaprevir (TVR)-based triple therapy or daclatasvir/asunaprevir (DCV/ASV) dual therapy. The rapid virological response rates in patients receiving TVR-based triple therapy were 92% (23/25) and 40% (10/25) for CAP/CTM and ART, respectively. The false omission rate (FOR) of ART was 93.3% (14/15), indicating that CAP/CTM could accurately predict clinical outcome in the early phase. In an independent examination of 20 patients receiving TVR-based triple therapy who developed viral breakthrough or relapse, the times to HCV disappearance by ART were longer than by CAP/CTM, whereas the times to HCV reappearance were similar. In an independent experiment of WHO standard HCV RNA serially diluted in serum containing TVR, the analytical sensitivities of CAP/CTM and ART were similar. However, cell cultures transfected with HCV and grown in medium containing TVR demonstrated that ART detected HCV RNA for a longer time than CAP/CTM. Similar results were found for 42 patients receiving DCV/ASV dual therapy. The FOR of ART was 73.3% (11/15) at week 8 after initiation of therapy, indicating that ART at week 8 could not accurately predict the clinical outcome. In conclusion, although CAP/CTM and ART detected HCV RNA with comparable analytical sensitivity, CAP/CTM might be preferable for predicting the clinical outcomes of patients receiving protease inhibitor-based therapy.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Increased Von Willebrand Factor Levels on Primary Hemostasis in Thrombocytopenic Patients with Liver Cirrhosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e2f

In patients with liver cirrhosis procoagulant and anticoagulant changes occur simultaneously. During primary hemostasis, platelets adhere to subendothelial structures, via von Willebrand factor (vWF). We aimed to investigate the influence of vWF on primary hemostasis in patients with liver cirrhosis. Therefore we assessed in-vitro bleeding time as marker of primary hemostasis in cirrhotic patients, measuring the Platelet Function Analyzer (PFA-100) closure times with collagen and epinephrine (Col-Epi, upper limit of normal ≤165 s) or collagen and ADP (Col-ADP, upper limit of normal ≤118 s). If Col-Epi and Col-ADP were prolonged, the PFA-100 was considered to be pathological. Effects of vWF on primary hemostasis in thrombocytopenic patients were analyzed and plasma vWF levels were modified by adding recombinant vWF or anti-vWF antibody. Of the 72 included cirrhotic patients, 32 (44.4%) showed a pathological result for the PFA-100. They had mean closure times (± SD) of 180±62 s with Col-Epi and 160±70 s with Col-ADP. Multivariate analysis revealed that hematocrit (P = 0.027) and vWF-antigen levels (P = 0.010) are the predictors of a pathological PFA-100 test in cirrhotic patients. In 21.4% of cirrhotic patients with platelet count ≥150/nL and hematocrit ≥27.0%, pathological PFA-100 results were found. In thrombocytopenic (<150/nL) patients with cirrhosis, normal PFA-100 results were associated with higher vWF-antigen levels (462.3±235.9% vs. 338.7±151.6%, P = 0.021). These results were confirmed by multivariate analysis in these patients as well as by adding recombinant vWF or polyclonal anti-vWF antibody that significantly shortened or prolonged closure times, respectively. In conclusion, primary hemostasis is impaired in cirrhotic patients. The effect of reduced platelet count in cirrhotic patients can at least be partly compensated by increased vWF levels. Recombinant vWF could be an alternative to platelet transfusions in the future.

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<![CDATA[Spleen Stiffness Is Superior to Liver Stiffness for Predicting Esophageal Varices in Chronic Liver Disease: A Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf8ab0ee8fa60bc3b4f

Background and Aims

Liver stiffness (LS) and spleen stiffness (SS) are two most widely accessible non-invasive parameters for predicting esophageal varices (EV), but the reported accuracy of the two predictors have been inconsistent across studies. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the diagnostic performance of LS and SS measurement for detecting EV in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), and compare their accuracy.

Methods

Pubmed/Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and Ovid were searched for all studies assessing SS and LS simultaneously in EV diagnosis. A total of 16 studies including 1892 patients were included in this meta-analysis, and the pooled statistical parameters were calculated using the bivariate mixed effects models.

Results

In detection of any EV, for LS measurement, the summary sensitivity was 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.78–0.87), and the specificity was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.60–0.72). While for SS measurement, the pooled sensitivity and specificity was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.83–0.92) and 0.78 (95% CI: 0.73–0.83). The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve values of LS and SS were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77–0.84) and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.85–0.91) respectively, and the results had statistical significance (P<0.01). The diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of SS (25.73) was significantly higher than that of LS (9.54), with the relative DOR value was 2.48 (95%CI: 1.10–5.60), P<0.05.

Conclusions

Under current techniques, SS is significantly superior to LS for identifying the presence of EV in patients with CLD. SS measurement may help to select patients for endoscopic screening.

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<![CDATA[Chronic HCV Infection Affects the NK Cell Phenotype in the Blood More than in the Liver]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da10ab0ee8fa60b795ba

Although epidemiological and functional studies have implicated NK cells in protection and early clearance of HCV, the mechanism by which they may contribute to viral control is poorly understood, particularly at the site of infection, the liver. We hypothesized that a unique immunophenotypic/functional NK cell signature exists in the liver that may provide insights into the contribution of NK cells to viral control. Intrahepatic and blood NK cells were profiled from chronically infected HCV-positive and HCV-negative individuals. Baseline expression of activating and inhibitory receptors was assessed, as well as functional responses following stimulation through classic NK cell pathways. Independent of HCV infection, the liver was enriched for the immunoregulatory CD56bright NK cell population, which produced less IFNγ and CD107a but comparable levels of MIP1β, and was immunophenotypically distinct from their blood counterparts. This profile was mostly unaltered in chronic HCV infection, though different expression levels of NKp46 and NKG2D were associated with different grades of fibrosis. In contrast to the liver, chronic HCV infection associated with an enrichment of CD161lowperforinhigh NK cells in the blood correlated with increased AST and 2B4 expression. However, the association of relatively discrete changes in the NK cell phenotype in the liver with the fibrosis stage nevertheless suggests an important role for the NK response. Overall these data suggest that tissue localization has a more pervasive effect on NK cells than the presence of chronic viral infection, during which these cells might be mostly attuned to limiting immunopathology. It will be important to characterize NK cells during early HCV infection, when they should have a critical role in limiting infection.

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<![CDATA[Tumor stroma with senescence-associated secretory phenotype in steatohepatitic hepatocellular carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbebb

Senescence secretome was recently reported to promote liver cancer in an obese mouse model. Steatohepatitic hepatocellular carcinoma (SH-HCC), a new variant of HCC, has been found in metabolic syndrome patients, and pericellular fibrosis, a characteristic feature of SH-HCC, suggests that alteration of the tumor stroma might play an important role in SH-HCC development. Clinicopathological characteristics and tumor stroma showing senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) were investigated in 21 SH-HCCs and 34 conventional HCCs (C-HCCs). The expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), p21Waf1/Cif1, γ-H2AX, and IL-6 was investigated by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence. SH-HCCs were associated with older age, higher body mass index, and a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, compared to C-HCC (P <0.05, all). The numbers of α-SMA-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) (P = 0.049) and α-SMA-positive CAFs co-expressing p21Waf1/Cif1 (P = 0.038), γ-H2AX (P = 0.065), and IL-6 (P = 0.048) were greater for SH-HCCs than C-HCCs. Additionally, non-tumoral liver from SH-HCCs showed a higher incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and a higher number of α-SMA-positive stellate cells expressing γ-H2AX and p21Waf1/Cif1 than that from C-HCCs (P <0.05, all). In conclusion, SH-HCCs are considered to occur more frequently in metabolic syndrome patients. Therein, senescent and damaged CAFs, as well as non-tumoral stellate cells, expressing SASP including IL-6 may contribute to the development of SH-HCC.

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<![CDATA[Interaction between PNPLA3 I148M Variant and Age at Infection in Determining Fibrosis Progression in Chronic Hepatitis C]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8c6b

Background and Aims

The PNPLA3 I148M sequence variant favors hepatic lipid accumulation and confers susceptibility to hepatic fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of this study was to estimate the effect size of homozygosity for the PNPLA3 I148M variant (148M/M) on the fibrosis progression rate (FPR) and the interaction with age at infection in chronic hepatitis C (CHC).

Methods

FPR was estimated in a prospective cohort of 247 CHC patients without alcohol intake and diabetes, with careful estimation of age at infection and determination of fibrosis stage by Ishak score.

Results

Older age at infection was the strongest determinant of FPR (p<0.0001). PNPLA3 148M/M was associated with faster FPR in individuals infected at older age (above the median, 21 years; −0.64±0.2, n = 8 vs. −0.95±0.3, n = 166 log10 FPR respectively; p = 0.001; confirmed for lower age thresholds, p<0.05), but not in those infected at younger age (p = ns). The negative impact of PNPLA3 148M/M on fibrosis progression was more marked in subjects at risk of altered hepatic lipid metabolism (those with grade 2–3 steatosis, genotype 3, and overweight; p<0.05). At multivariate analysis, PNPLA3 148M/M was associated with FPR (incremental effect 0.08±0.03 log10 fibrosis unit per year; p = 0.022), independently of several confounders, and there was a significant interaction between 148M/M and older age at infection (p = 0.025). The association between 148M/M and FPR remained significant even after adjustment for steatosis severity (p = 0.032).

Conclusions

We observed an interaction between homozygosity for the PNPLA3 I148M variant and age at infection in determining fibrosis progression in CHC patients.

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<![CDATA[Cynomolgus monkeys are successfully and persistently infected with hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV-3) after long-term immunosuppressive therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf90

Epidemiological studies found that hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV-3) infection was associated with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis in immunocompromised patients. Our study aimed to investigate the relationship between the host immunosuppressive status and the occurrence of HEV-related chronic hepatitis. Here we describe a successful experimental study, using cynomolgus monkeys previously treated with tacrolimus, a potent calcineurin inhibitor immunosuppressant, and infected with a Brazilian HEV-3 strain isolated from naturally infected pigs. HEV infected monkeys were followed up during 160 days post infection (dpi) by clinical signs; virological, biochemical and haematological parameters; and liver histopathology. The tacrolimus blood levels were monitored throughout the experiment. Immunosuppression was confirmed by clinical and laboratorial findings, such as: moderate weight loss, alopecia, and herpes virus opportunistic infection. In this study, chronic HEV infection was characterized by the mild increase of liver enzymes serum levels; persistent RNA viremia and viral faecal shedding; and liver histopathology. Three out of four immunosuppressed monkeys showed recurrent HEV RNA detection in liver samples, evident hepatocellular ballooning degeneration, mild to severe macro and microvesicular steatosis (zone 1), scattered hepatocellular apoptosis, and lobular focal inflammation. At 69 dpi, liver biopsies of all infected monkeys revealed evident ballooning degeneration (zone 3), discrete hepatocellular apoptosis, and at most mild portal and intra-acinar focal inflammation. At 160 dpi, the three chronically HEV infected monkeys showed microscopic features (piecemeal necrosis) corresponding to chronic hepatitis in absence of fibrosis and cirrhosis in liver parenchyma. Within 4-months follow up, the tacrolimus-immunosuppressed cynomolgus monkeys infected with a Brazilian swine HEV-3 strain exhibited more severe hepatic lesions progressing to chronic hepatitis without liver fibrosis, similarly as shown in tacrolimus-immunosuppressed solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. The cause-effect relationship between HEV infection and tacrolimus treatment was confirmed in this experiment.

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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[A prospective comparative assessment of the accuracy of the FibroScan in evaluating liver steatosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5aafc6ff463d7e7d7e2e8766

Background/aims

Recent studies have demonstrated the utility of the FibroScan® device in diagnosing liver steatosis, but its usefulness has not been thoroughly appraised. We investigated the usefulness of the controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) in detecting and quantifying liver steatosis.

Methods

A prospective analysis was applied to 79 chronic liver disease patients who underwent a liver biopsy, a FibroScan investigation, ultrasonography, and hepatic steatosis index (HSI). The presence and degree of steatosis as measured by the FibroScan device, ultrasonography and HSI were compared with the results for the liver biopsy tissue.

Results

There was substantial concordance between the liver biopsy results and the CAP as evaluated by the kappa (κ) index test for detecting liver steatosis (κCAP = 0.77, P<0.001; κultrasonography = 0.60, P<0.001; κHSI = 0.47, P<0.001). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROCs) of the CAP, ultrasonography, and HSI were 0.899 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.826–0.972)], 0.859 (95% CI = 0.779–0.939), and 0.766 (95% CI = 0.655–0.877), respectively. The optimal CAP cutoff value for differentiating between normal and hepatic steatosis was 247 dB/m, which produced sensitivity and specificity values of 91.9% and 85.7%, respectively, as well as a positive predictive value of 85.0% and a negative predictive value of 92.3%.

Conclusion

The CAP produces results that are highly concordant with those of a liver biopsy in detecting steatosis. Therefore, the CAP is a noninvasive and reliable tool for evaluating liver steatosis, even in the early stages.

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<![CDATA[Oral Medications Enhance Adherence to Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Survival in Chronic Hepatitis B Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf375

Background/Aims

Regular surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients is essential to detect HCC earlier and to improve prognosis. This study investigated whether prescription of oral medication contributes to adherence to surveillance, early tumor detection, and overall survival (OS).

Methods

A total of 401 CHB patients who were newly diagnosed with HCC were included: 134 patients received no medication (group 1), 151 received hepatoprotective agents such as ursodeoxycholic acid and silymarin (group 2), and 116 received antiviral agents (group 3) at two years before HCC diagnosis. The primary endpoint was OS, and secondary endpoints were compliance to regular surveillance and HCC status at diagnosis.

Results

Compared to group 1, both group 2 and 3 had higher rates of good compliance to regular surveillance (defined as participation in >80% of imaging intervals being ≤6 months) (58.2%, 90.1%, and 97.4%, respectively; P<0.001), more HCC diagnosed at a very early stage (20.9%, 32.5%, and 36.2%; P = 0.019) and smaller tumor size (2.8±2.4cm, 1.9±1.1cm, and 1.8±0.9cm; P<0.001). Finally, compared to group 1, both group 2 (hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.97; P = 0.035) and group 3 (hazard ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.22–0.71; P = 0.002) had significantly longer OS. In mediation analysis, prolonged OS is resulted considerably from indirect effect mediated by shorter imaging interval (>100% in group 2 and 14.5% in group 3) rather than direct effect of medication itself.

Conclusions

Prescription of oral medication improves compliance to surveillance and enables early detection of HCC, which is associated with enhanced survival.

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<![CDATA[Performance of Real-Time Elastography for the Staging of Hepatic Fibrosis: A Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da97ab0ee8fa60ba239b

Background

With the rapid development of real-time elastography (RTE), a variety of measuring methods have been developed for the assessment of hepatic fibrosis. We evaluated the overall performance of four methods based on RTE by performing meta-analysis of published literature.

Methods

Online journal databases and a manual search from April 2000 to April 2014 were used. Studies from different databases that meet inclusion criteria were enrolled. The statistical analysis was performed using a random-effects model and fixed-effects model for the overall effectiveness of RTE. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) was calculated for various means. Fagan plot analysis was used to estimate the clinical utility of RTE, and the heterogeneity of the studies was explored with meta-regression analysis.

Results

Thirteen studies from published articles were enrolled and analyzed. The combined AUROC of the liver fibrosis index (LFI) for the evaluation of significant fibrosis (F≥2), advanced fibrosis (F≥3), and cirrhosis (F = 4) were 0.79, 0.94, and 0.85, respectively. The AUROC of the elasticity index (EI) ranged from 0.75 to 0.92 for F≥2 and 0.66 to 0.85 for F = 4. The overall AUROC of the elastic ratio of the liver for the intrahepatic venous vessels were 0.94, 0.93, and 0.96, respectively. The AUROC of the elastic ratio of the liver for the intercostal muscle in diagnosing advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis were 0.96 and 0.92, respectively. There was significant heterogeneity in the diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) for F≥2 of LFI mainly due to etiology (p<0.01).

Conclusion

The elastic ratio of the liver for the intrahepatic vein has excellent precision in differentiating each stage of hepatic fibrosis and is recommend to be applied to the clinic.

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<![CDATA[Serum microRNA-122 and Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein are useful tools for liquid biopsy of the patients with hepatitis B virus and advanced liver fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf563

Background

Noninvasive methods to accurately and conveniently evaluate liver fibrosis are desirable. MicroRNA (miR) is one of the candidates. MiRs are small RNAs consisting of 19–25 nucleotides that negatively regulate many target genes at transcriptional levels. Recently, many researchers have focused on circulating miRs in the blood stream as biomarkers. Hepatic miR-122 has been reported to have an association with viral replication and hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatic C virus (HCV) infection.

Methods

We measured serum miR-122 levels in HBV- and HCV-infected patients confirmed with liver biopsy. We also investigated a novel liver fibrosis marker Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein [WFA(+)-M2BP]. We evaluated the diagnostic usefulness of these markers in hepatic fibrosis and inflammation of patients with chronic viral infection.

Results

The serum miR-122 levels of HBV-infected patients were higher than those of the control subjects. In HBV-infected patients, the serum miR-122 levels of patients with advanced liver fibrosis were significantly lower. Serum WFA(+)-M2BP was significantly higher dependent on both the staging of fibrosis and the grading of inflammatory activity in patients with both HBV and HCV infection. We also observed that higher serum WFA(+)-M2BP levels augmented the prediction of advanced liver fibrosis among HBV-infected patients with lower serum miR-122 levels.

Conclusions

A lower serum miR-122 level is a useful predictor of advanced liver fibrosis in HBV-infected patients. Serum WFA(+)-M2BP could predict liver fibrosis in both HBV and HCV infection. The combination of these markers may result in the more accurate evaluation of liver fibrosis in HBV infection.

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<![CDATA[Mutant MMP-9 and HGF Gene Transfer Enhance Resolution of CCl4-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Rats: Role of ASH1 and EZH2 Methyltransferases Repression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad0ab0ee8fa60bb5e1e

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene transfer inhibits liver fibrosis by regulating aberrant cellular functions, while mutant matrix metalloproteinase-9 (mMMP-9) enhances matrix degradation by neutralizing the elevated tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1). It was shown that ASH1 and EZH2 methyltransferases are involved in development of liver fibrosis; however, their role in the resolution phase of liver fibrosis has not been investigated. This study evaluated the role of ASH1 and EZH2 in two mechanistically different therapeutic modalities, HGF and mMMP-9 gene transfer in CCl4 induced rat liver fibrosis. Liver fibrosis was induced in rats with twice a week intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 for 8 weeks. Adenovirus vectors encoding mMMP-9 or HGF genes were injected through tail vein at weeks six and seven and were sacrificed one week after the second injection. A healthy animal group was likewise injected with saline to serve as a negative control. Rats treated with mMMP-9 showed significantly lower fibrosis score, less Sirius red stained collagen area, reduced hydroxyproline and ALT concentration, decreased transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) mRNA and lower labeling indices of α smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) stained cells compared with HGF- or saline-treated rats. Furthermore, TIMP-1 protein expression in mMMP-9 group was markedly reduced compared with all fibrotic groups. ASH1 and EZH2 protein expression was significantly elevated in fibrotic liver and significantly decreased in mMMP-9- and HGF-treated compared to saline-treated fibrotic livers with further reduction in the mMMP-9 group. Conclusion: Gene transfer of mMMP-9 and HGF reduced liver fibrosis in rats. ASH1 and EZH2 methyltransferases are significantly reduced in mMMP-9 and HGF treated rats which underlines the central role of these enzymes during fibrogenesis. Future studies should evaluate the role of selective pharmacologic inhibitors of ASH1 and EZH2 in resolution of liver fibrosis.

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