Liver Segment Disposition of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Predicts Microvascular InvasionRead the full article
International Journal of Hepatology publishes research related to medical, surgical, pathological, biochemical, and physiological aspects of hepatology and management of disorders affecting the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas.
International Journal of Hepatology maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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A Prospective Knowledge Assessment of Adolescent Liver Transplant Recipients after Tailored Education Intervention
Introduction and Purpose. Given the importance of a successful transition to adult care for pediatric transplant recipients, there is a critical need to better understand modifiable factors which may affect that process. This study assessed the knowledge of adolescent liver transplant recipients about their disease and evaluated if a disease-specific educational intervention could increase their knowledge and impact clinical outcome. Methods. A four-category measure was created to assess the knowledge regarding diagnosis, surgical history, lab values, and medications in adolescent liver transplant patients. Teens were randomized to receive one-on-one, verbally administered education from a medical provider versus standard care (control). Results. Fifty-six liver transplant recipients completed the measure, with 24 completing a posttest. The median age at transplant was 6.9 years and at pre-test was 17.8 years. Thirty-eight percent did not know their original diagnosis at pretest. The average pretest total score was 43%. Teens who received the intervention had an average posttest score of 61% versus 42.4% for controls (). Teens who scored ≥50% at pretest had 2.0 rejection episodes per patient while those had 0.95 rejection episodes per patient (). Conclusions. Adolescent liver transplant recipients have low baseline knowledge about their condition. Tailored outpatient education is effective at improving knowledge, but this did not translate to improved outcomes. The role of oppositional behaviors, parental supervision, and other high-risk activities on clinical outcomes needs to be determined by further studies. These data suggest that teen liver transplant recipients require more supervision than their level of knowledge implies.
Inhibition of Gluconeogenesis by Boldine in the Perfused Liver: Therapeutical Implication for Glycemic Control
The alkaloid boldine occurs in the Chilean boldo tree (Peumus boldus). It acts as a free radical scavenger and controls glycemia in diabetic rats. Various mechanisms have been proposed for this effect, including inhibited glucose absorption, stimulated insulin secretion, and increased expression of genes involved in glycemic control. Direct effects on glucose synthesis and degradation were not yet measured. To fill this gap, the present study is aimed at ensuring several metabolic pathways linked to glucose metabolism (e.g., gluconeogenesis) in the isolated perfused rat liver. In order to address mechanistic issues, energy transduction in isolated mitochondria and activities of gluconeogenic key enzymes in tissue preparations were also measured. Boldine diminished mitochondrial ROS generation, with no effect on energy transduction in isolated mitochondria. It inhibited, however, at least three enzymes of the gluconeogenic pathway, namely, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, fructose-bisphosphatase-1, and glucose 6-phosphatase, starting at concentrations below 50 μM. Consistently, in the perfused liver, boldine decreased lactate-, alanine-, and fructose-driven gluconeogenesis with values of 71.9, 85.2, and 83.6 μM, respectively. Conversely, the compound also increased glycolysis from glycogen-derived glucosyl units. The hepatic ATP content was not affected by boldine. It is proposed that the direct inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis by boldine, combined with the increase of glycolysis, could be an important event behind the diminished hyperglycemia observed in boldine-treated diabetic rats.
Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase: A Friend against Cholestatic Itch? A Retrospective Observational Data Analysis in Patients with Extrahepatic Cholestasis
Background and Aim of This Study. Itch frequently occurs in patients with chronic cholestasis. However, it remains unclear why some patients do and others do not develop pruritus. In addition, drug treatment is frequently ineffective. We repeatedly observed that cholestatic patients without itch had a relatively high serum gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), relative to their serum bilirubin. The aim of this study was to validate this clinical observation. Methods. We included 235 patients with chronic extrahepatic cholestasis due to pancreatic cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, or papillary carcinoma. Results. GGT was significantly higher in patients without pruritus (median 967, IQR 587–1571) compared to patients with pruritus (median 561 IQR 266–1084 IU/l) (). In contrast, median alkaline phosphatase (AP) was 491 U/L (IQR; 353–684) in patients with pruritus and was not significantly different from 518 U/L (IQR; 353–726) in patients without pruritus (). Direct bilirubin was significantly higher in patients with pruritus compared to patients without pruritus (168 μmol/L (IQR; 95–256) vs. 120 μmol/L (IQR; 56.75–185.5)) (). After correcting for the extent of cholestasis via direct bilirubin, the negative association between GGT and pruritus remained significant and became stronger (). Conclusion. Serum GGT activity is inversely associated with the presence of cholestatic itch in patients with chronic extrahepatic cholestasis.
Liver Injury Patterns and Hepatic Toxicity among People Living with and without HIV and Attending Care in Urban Uganda
Introduction. The evaluation of the patterns of liver injury, derived from liver chemistry panels, often may narrow on probable causes of the liver insult especially when coupled with clinical history, examination, and other diagnostic tests. Methods. Among people living with and without HIV and attending care, we used the ratio to evaluate for liver injury patterns. Liver injury patterns were defined as cholestatic (), mixed (), and hepatocellular (). Results. Overall, the proportions of participants with cholestatic liver injury, mixed liver injury, and hepatocellular liver injury were 55%, 34%, and 4%, respectively, with similar distribution when stratified by HIV status. Alcohol use among participants without HIV was associated with all patterns of liver injury (cholestatic liver injury ( (1.0-24.2); ), mixed liver injury ( (1.1-27.3); ), and hepatocellular liver injury ( (1.0-167.3); )). Increasing age was associated with cholestatic liver injury among participants with HIV ( (1.0-5.3); ). Despite a high hepatitis B prevalence among participants with HIV, there was no association with liver injury. Conclusions. Liver injury is prevalent among both people living with and without HIV in care, and cholestatic liver injury is the most common pattern. Alcohol is associated with all patterns of liver injury and increasing age associated with cholestatic liver injury among people living without HIV and people living with HIV, respectively.
Clinical Profile and Limitations in the Management of HBV Patients Attending Clinic at a District Hospital in Ghana
Background. Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is estimated to cause between 500,000 and 1.2 million deaths worldwide every year through cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver cirrhosis and HCC are the commonest liver diseases causing death in Ghana. The most critical problem in the management of CHB in sub-Saharan Africa is the high cost of investigations and antiviral drugs. There is scanty information concerning newly diagnosed CHB patients and their management challenges in Ghana. This study sought to determine the clinical characteristics and management challenges of CHB patients in Ghana. Methodology. A prospective cohort study was conducted involving newly diagnosed CHB patients being managed at St. Dominic Hospital. Patient demographic and clinical features were abstracted using a standardized questionnaire. The proportion of patients able to undertake investigations and treatment were determined, and the limitations to standard management were recorded. The performance of APRI score in the diagnosis of cirrhosis was also investigated. Results. Of the 334 patients with newly diagnosed CHB, the median age at diagnosis was 35 (IQR 28–44) years. Less than a quarter (22.2%) were able to undertake viral load testing and 23.4% were eligible for treatment. Of those who were eligible for treatment, only 42.3% were able to initiate treatment. Almost a third of cases (32.1%) reported late with liver-related complications. The sensitivity of APRI score with cut-off value of 2 in the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis was 70.2% and specificity was 97.9%. Conclusion. A high proportion of newly diagnosed CHB patients presented late and with liver-related complications. Majority were not able to afford viral load testing and antiviral medication. Screening of hepatitis B among the general population and inclusion of CHB management in the National Health Insurance Scheme should be encouraged.
Hepatitis C Seroconversion Remains High among Patients with Regular Hemodialysis: Study of Associated Risk Factors
Background/Aims. Hemodialysis patients have a higher risk of hepatitis C compared to the general population. The burden of hepatitis C infection among hemodialysis patients is substantial and was estimated to rise constantly. This study is aimed at determining the frequency of HCV seroconversion and associated risk factors among hemodialysis patients in our unit. Methods. An analytical cross-sectional study involving patients from 2 dialysis units (1 referral hospital and 1 private dialysis unit) in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, from January 2020 to December 2021. We evaluated age, gender, duration of hemodialysis, vascular access, history of transfusion, history of surgery, diabetes mellitus, hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and type of dialyzer as possible risk factors of hepatitis C seroconversion among hemodialysis patients. Results. A total of 338 hemodialysis patients were enrolled in this study. We found hepatitis C seroconversion in 94 patients (27.8%), all of which occurred after regular dialysis was started. Vascular access type (OR 42.07, 95% CI 5.757–307.472) and dialyzer reuse (OR 8.324, 95% CI 4.319–16.044) were showing a statistically significant association with hepatitis C seroconversion. A separate analysis on each dialysis unit found common evidence that the duration of dialysis was significantly associated with hepatitis C infection among hemodialysis patients. Conclusion. Hepatitis C seroconversion among dialysis patients remains high. Factors related to the dialysis procedure itself played a major role in transmitting the virus.