Plasma S100A8 and S100A9 Are Strong Prognostic Factors for Hepatitis B Virus-Related Acute-on-Chronic Liver FailureRead the full article
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology publishes studies of areas related to medical, surgical, pathological, biochemical and physiological aspects of gastroenterology and hepatology.
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Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders: Their Impact on Cardiovascular Events in Liver Transplant Patients
Cardiovascular diseases are currently one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in liver transplant patients over the long term. Therefore, evaluating prognostic factors for cardiovascular events (CVEs) in this population is essential for taking preventive measures. The aim of this study was to identify the impact of diabetes and other metabolic disorders on CVEs in liver transplant patients. Three hundred fifty-six liver transplant recipients who survived at least 6 months after surgery were enrolled. Patients were followed for a median time of 118 months (12–250 months). All cardiovascular events were carefully recorded and detailed in the patients’ charts. Demographic data, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, weight changes, and a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome both before and after transplantation were noted to assess their possible relationship with CVE. The presence of a diagnosis of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) was also evaluated. Immunosuppressive therapy was included in the analysis. Diabetes mellitus (DM), especially when present before transplantation, was strongly associated with CVEs (hazard risk HR 3.10; 95% confidence interval CI: 1.60–6.03). Metabolic syndrome was found to be associated with CVEs in univariate analysis (HR 3.24; 95% CI: 1.36–7.8), while pretransplantation and de novo MAFLD were not. Immunosuppressive therapy had no influence on predisposing transplanted patients to CVEs during follow-up. Further prospective studies may be useful in investigating the risk factors for CVEs after liver transplantation and improving the long-term survival of transplant patients.
Prediction of Liver Steatosis and Fibrosis Based on Clinical Variables Using a Large National Survey Database
Background. Vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTA) and controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) are used more frequently to diagnose liver fibrosis and steatosis among nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients. However, limited robust data are available on the clinical variables strongly related to these disorders and who needs to be referred for screening. Methods. We used the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2017-2018 database to identify the clinical predictors strongly related to liver steatosis and advanced fibrosis. Baseline comparisons among these groups were made based on widely accepted cutoffs. Linear and logistic regressions were performed to identify the associations between the clinical variables and liver steatosis and fibrosis. We used adaptive lasso regression, gradient-boosted model, and decision trees to determine clinical variables strongly related to these outcomes. A Naïve Byes classifier and decision trees were used to calculate the predicted probabilities of liver steatosis and fibrosis. Results. 32% of our population had evidence of liver steatosis using 294 dB/m as a cutoff. An increase in age, serum triglyceride, and body mass index were associated with a statistically significant increase in liver steatosis; in contrast, females had statistically significantly lower values for liver steatosis by 15 points in the multivariable linear regression model. Serum LDL, smoking, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure are poorly associated with liver steatosis in the adaptive lasso regression. On the other hand, sex, tobacco use, metabolic energy expenditure, and serum triglyceride are the least associated with liver fibrosis based on decision tree analysis and a gradient-boosted model. In decision trees, people with a body mass index above 30 and HbA1c above 5.7 have a 72% likelihood of liver steatosis compared to 14% for people with a body mass index below 30. On the other hand, people with a body mass index above 41 have a 38% likelihood of liver fibrosis. Conclusion. Body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, serum triglyceride level, sex, and age could provide a good prediction for liver steatosis, while body mass index, blood pressure, platelet counts, hemoglobin A1c, serum LDL, or HDL are highly associated with liver fibrosis and should be used as an initial screening tool prior referral for VCTE/CAP.
Efficacy and Safety of Drug-Eluting Bead TACE in the Treatment of Primary or Secondary Liver Cancer
Background. The drug-eluting beads transarterial chemoembolization (DEB-TACE) has already been used in hepatic malignancies. We aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DEB-TACE in treating primary or secondary liver cancer. Methods. We retrospectively evaluated 59 patients with hepatic malignancies, including 41 patients with primary liver cancer and 18 patients with secondary liver cancer, between September 2016 and February 2019. All patients were treated with DEB-TACE. Objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) were evaluated by mRECIST. The pain was assessed using a numerical rating scale (NRS) where 0 represented no pain, and a score of ten was unbearable. Adverse reactions were assessed according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events 4.0 (CTCAE4.0). Results. In the subgroup of primary liver cancer, 3 patients (7.32%) got complete response, 13 patients (31.71%) got partial response, 21 patients (51.22%) experienced stable disease, and 4 patients (9.76%) suffered progressive disease; ORR was 39.02% and DCR was 90.24%. In the subgroup of secondary liver cancer, 0 patients (0%) got complete response, 6 patients (33.33%) got partial response, 11 patients (61.11%) experienced stable disease, and 1 patient (5.56%) suffered progressive disease; ORR was 33.33% and DCR was 94.44%. We did not find any difference when comparing the efficacy between primary and secondary liver cancer (). The one-year survival rate was 70.73% for primary liver cancer and 61.11% for secondary liver cancer. There was no significant difference between the two groups (). For the patients with CR or PR, no factor could predict the efficacy of DEB-TACE. The most common treatment-related adverse reactions were short-term liver function disorders. The symptoms included fever (20.34%), abdomen pain (16.95%), and vomiting (5.08%), all patients with adverse reactions got remission after treatment. Conclusions. DEB-TACE has a promising effect in the treatment of primary or secondary liver cancer. The treatment-related adverse reactions are tolerable.
Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Delays in Chemoembolization on the Survival of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Background and Aims. COVID-19 has led to potential delays in liver cancer treatment, which may have undesirable effects on the prognosis of patients. We aimed to quantify the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who underwent transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). Methods. A retrospective study was conducted in patients with HCC who underwent TACE at a tertiary care center during the prelockdown (March to July 2019) and lockdown (March to July 2020) periods. Demographic data, tumor characteristics, functional status, and vital status were collected from the hospital medical records. The endpoints were TACE interval, treatment response, and survival after TACE. Cox proportional hazards regression determined the significant preoperative factors influencing survival. Results. Compared to prelockdown, a significant delay occurred during the lockdown in repeated TACE treatments (76.7 vs. 63.5 days, ). The trend suggested a significant decrease in patients with HCC in the repeated TACE group (−33.3%). After screening, 145 patients were included (prelockdown (n = 87), lockdown (n = 58)). There was no significant difference in the 1-month objective response rate between the prelockdown and lockdown groups (65.5% vs. 64.4%, ). During follow-up, 56 (64.4%) and 34 (58.6%) deaths occurred in the prelockdown and lockdown groups, respectively (). Multivariate analysis revealed no association between the lockdown group and decreased survival (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.57–1.35, ). Conclusions. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on liver cancer care resulted in significant decreases and delays in repeated TACE treatments in 2020 compared to 2019. However, treatment delays did not seem to significantly impact survival.
Endoscopic Management Using Novel Haemostatic Agents for Immediate Bleeding during Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography
Bleeding after endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) remains as a major challenge during ERCP procedure. Standard endoscopic haemostatic procedures have demonstrated good performance for bleeding control. Novel endoscopic haemostatic agents have also been widely used in gastrointestinal bleeding management. Regardless, there is still a paucity of high-quality evidence evaluating the practicality of these agents in ERCP. This case series study was performed on the patients who underwent ERCP procedure in a tertiary referral private hospital within 2 years period. Post-ES immediate bleeding is defined as the onset of bleeding at the time of sphincterotomy. Treatment groups for post-ES bleeding are divided into (1) standard haemostatic methods and (2) novel haemostatic agents. There were 40 patients who received standard haemostatic treatment and 60 patients who received novel haemostatic agents. Initial haemostasis was achieved in all patients. Two patients who received standard haemostatic treatment had rebleeding. Meanwhile, no patients in novel haemostatic treatment group had rebleeding. In conclusion, novel haemostatic agent can be considered as an easy and practical method in daily practice, especially when an ERCP procedure is performed. Further studies with larger sample size which, if possible, can also include a cost-effectiveness analysis are still required to implement these agents as a standard procedure in clinical practice. (This abstract has been presented at the American College of Gastroenterology meeting October 2021).
Comparison of [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-FAPI-04 and [18F]FDG PET/MRI in the Preoperative Diagnosis of Gastric Cancer
Purpose. Our objective was to compare the value of positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) with the new imaging agent [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-FAPI-04 and the traditional imaging agent [18F]FDG for the preoperative diagnosis of gastric cancer. Methods. Forty patients with gastric cancer diagnosed by gastroscopy in gastrointestinal surgery at our hospital from June 2020 to January 2021 were analyzed. All patients underwent simultaneous [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-FAPI-04 and [18F]FDG PET/MRI. The standard uptake value (SUV), fat removal standard uptake value (SUL), and diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for primary and metastatic lesions were compared, and their diagnostic value for different lymph node dissection stages was analyzed. Results. The median age of the patients in this cohort was 68 years. Twenty-nine patients underwent surgery, and 11 patients underwent gastroscopic biopsy. The SUVmax of primary lesions in the FDG group and the FAPI group was 5.74 ± 5.09 and 8.06 ± 4.88, respectively (); SULmax values were 3.52 ± 2.80 and 5.64 ± 3.25, respectively (). The SUVmax of metastases in the two groups was 3.81 ± 3.08 and 5.17 ± 2.80, respectively (). The diagnostic sensitivities for primary lesions in the FDG group and the FAPI group were 0.72 and 0.94, respectively (). Combined with postoperative pathological staging, there was no difference in diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of lymph node staging between the FDG and FAPI groups (). Conclusion. Compared with the traditional imaging agent, [68Ga]Ga-DOTA-FAPI-04 has better diagnostic efficiency but no substantial advantage for preoperative lymph node staging.