Vol. 17 Issue 2
On the cover: The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver
Phenotypic modulation of NAFLD-severity by molecules derived from white (adipokines) and brown (batokines) adipose tissue may be important in inducing or protecting against the progression of the disease. Adipose tissue-derived factors can promote the progression of NAFLD towards severe histological stages (NASH-fibrosis and NASHcirrhosis). This effect can be modulated by the release of adipokines or batokines that directly trigger an inflammatory response in the liver tissue or indirectly modulate related phenotypes, such as insulin resistance. Metabolically dysfunctional adipose tissue, which is often infiltrated by macrophages and crown-like histological structures, may also show impaired production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which may favor NAFLD progression into aggressive phenotypes by preventing its protective effects on the liver tissue.
Non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) make a heterogenous pharmaco-therapeutic class of drugs among the most used drugs worldwide with various indications, modes of administration and increasing automedication. NSAIDs can cause acute liver injury with variable severity. The recent identification of genetic markers might facilitate the diagnosis and the prediction of hepatotoxicity risk.
Fontan-associated liver disease is a hepatic disorder arising from hemodynamic changes and systemic venous congestion following Fontan surgery. The histological changes produced in the liver are similar but not equivalent to those seen in other forms of cardiac liver disease. While the natural history of this form of liver disease is not well established, over time many Fontan patients develop portal hypertension-related complications such as ascites, variceal hemorrhage or encephalopathy. Fontan survivors also show an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Early diagnosis of advanced liver disease is mandatory for the prevention and treatment of complications such as hepatocellular carcinoma, esophageal varices and malnutrition. This review updates current knowledge of the pathophysiology and management of Fontan-associated liver disease including new diagnostic methods and treatments.
Long thought to be hypocoagulable, new evidence suggests cirrhosis patients have 'rebalanced' coagulation in the setting of decreased synthesis of both pro- and anti-coagulant factors. Traditional testing like PT/INR reflects only the decreased synthesis of pro-coagulant factors and thus does not correspond to bleeding or clotting risk in this population. In this review, we discuss the use of viscoelastic testing (VET), an assay of global hemostasis in cirrhosis patients. We describe the technique and interpretation of commercially available VET and assess the application of VET in both transplant and non-transplant cirrhosis populations. VET largely correlates well with traditional testing including platelet count and fibrinogen level, however, is potentially less accurate in patients with low fibrinogen levels. VET may be useful in identifying patients at higher risk of hypercoagulable complications post-transplant and reflects changes in hemostasis in decompensated patients. While VET has been associated with decreased transfusion support in multiple studies, the lack of bleeding in patients who avoided prophylactic transfusion suggests a 'rescue' rather than prophylactic approach to transfusion may be ideal and further studies with a 'rescue' arm are needed. Additional prospective studies of VET should include clinically relevant endpoints of bleeding and thrombosis.
Introduction. Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is still a public health problem and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we detect the skewness of T cell receptor beta chain variable gene (TCR Vβ) in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and the liver infiltrating lymphocytes (LIL) of patients with CHB; and hope to provide information for further research on the pathogenic mechanism of CHB. Material and methods. Material and methods. Material and methods. Fifteen patients with CHB, ten healthy volunteers and three patients with liver cysts were recruited as the subjects. The usage of TCR Vβ of PBL and LIL were measured and compared; the associations of the TCR Vβ usage of PBL with some hematological indices, including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, percents of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, sera levels of HBV-DNA and IFN-γ, were analyzed. Results. Results. In Results. PBL, Vβ12 and Vβ13.1 were the highest predominant usage genes which usage frequencies were all 46.7%; Vβ23 was the key limited usage gene (40.0%). In LIL, the mainly predominant and limited usage gene was Vβ13.1 (73.3%) and Vβ23 (46.7%), respectively. About half of the patients with CHB with HLA-DR9 or HLA-DR12 showed the predominant usage of Vβ5.2 or Vβ13.2. In patients with CHB, the percentage of CD4+ T cells was 33.41 ± 5.39 %, that of CD8+ T cells was 28.67 ± 6.77 %; the concentration of IFN-γ was 182.52 ± 44.16 pg/mL. Compared to the healthy controls, there were significant differences for these data (P < 0.05). Neither ALT nor HBV-DNA was relative to the usage of TCR Vβ. Conclusions. clusions. PBL and LIL share the common sknewness of TCR Vβ genes which probably relates to some hematological indices. However, the roles of such similarities and associations in the development of CHB need further study.
Introduction. Quantitative hepatitis B surface antigen (qHBsAg) combined with HBV DNA may be useful for predicting chronic hepatitis B (CHB) activity and nucleoside analogue (NA) response. Material and methods. In this retrospective cohort study we evaluated qHBsAg levels according to CHB disease phase and among patients on treatment. Random effect logistic regression analysis was used to analyze qHBsAg change with time in the NA-treated cohort. Results. 545 CHB carriers [56% M, median age 48 y (IQR 38-59), 73% Asian] had qHBsAg testing. In the untreated group (44%), 8% were classified as immune tolerant, 10% immune clearance, 40% inactive, and 43% had HBeAg- CHB and the median HBsAg levels were 4.6 (IQR 3.4-4.9), 4.0 (IQR 3.4-4.5), 2.9 (IQR 1.4-3.8), and 3.2 log IU/mL (IQR 2.6-4.0), respectively; p < 0.001. In the NA-treated group (28% entecavir, 68% tenofovir, 4% lamivudine), no significant change in qHBsAg levels occurred with time, 19% of patients on long-term NA had sustained qHBsAg < 2 log10 IU/mL. Conclusion. qHBsAg titers were associated with CHB phase and remained stable in those on long-term NA. A significant number of treated patients had low-level qHBsAg, of which some may be eligible for treatment discontinuation without risk of flare.
Background & aims. G-allele of PNPLA3 (rs738409) favours triglycerides accumulation and steatosis. In this study, we examined the effect of quercetin and natural extracts from mushroom and artichoke on reducing lipid accumulation in hepatic cells. Material and methods. Huh7.5 cells were exposed to oleic acid (OA) and treated with quercetin and extracts to observe the lipid accumulation, the intracellular-TG concentration and the LD size. Sterol regulatory element binding proteins-1 (SREBP-1), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARα-γ) and cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) gene expression levels were analysed. Results. Quercetin decreased the intracellular lipids, LD size and the levels of intracellular-TG through the down-regulation of SREBP-1c, PPARγ and ACAT1 increasing PPARα. The natural-extracts suppressed OA-induced lipid accumulation and the intracellular-TG. They down-regulate the hepatic lipogenesis through SREBP-1c, besides the activation of lipolysis through the increasing of PPARα expression. Conclusions. Quercetin and the aqueous extracts decrease intracellular lipid accumulation by down-regulation of lipogenesis and up-regulation of lipolysis.
Background. The gene for patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) development. We previously found that Mexican indigenous population had the highest frequency reported of the PNPLA3 148M risk allele. Further, we observed a relationship between M148M genotype with elevated ALT levels in individuals with normal weight, overweight and obese. We sought to investigate whether PNPLA3 polymorphism is associated with NAFLD development in Mexicans. Material and methods. We enrolled 189 Mexican patients with NAFLD and 201 healthy controls. Anthropometric, metabolic, and biochemical variables were measured, and rs738409 (Ile148Met substitution) polymorphism was genotyped by sequencing. Results. Logistic regression analysis, using a recessive model, suggested that PNPLA3 polymorphism in Mexican population is significantly associated (OR = 1.711, 95% CI: 1.014-2.886; P = 0.044) with NAFLD. Conclusions. The PNPLA3 gene is associated with NAFLD in Mexican population. More studies are required to explain the high prevalence of PNPLA3 polymorphism in Mexican-Americans, Mexican-Indians, and Mexican-Mestizos.
Background and aims. Heterogeneous data has been reported regarding liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in Latin America. We aimed to describe treatment during waiting list, survival and recurrence of HCC after LT in a multicenter study from Latin America. Material and methods. Patients with HCC diagnosed prior to transplant (cHCC) and incidentally found in the explanted liver (iHCC) were included. Imaging-explanted features were compared in cHCC (non-discordant if pre and post-LT were within Milan, discordant if pre-LT was within and post-LT exceeding Milan). Results. Overall, 435 patients with cHCC and 92 with iHCC were included. At listing, 81% and 91% of cHCC patients were within Milan and San Francisco criteria (UCSF), respectively. Five-year survival and recurrence rates for cHCC within Milan, exceeding Milan/within UCSF and beyond UCSF were 71% and 16%; 66% and 26%; 46% and 55%, respectively. Locoregional treatment prior to LT was performed in 39% of cHCC within Milan, in 53% beyond Milan/within UCSF and in 83% exceeding UCSF (p < 0.0001). This treatment difference was not observed according to AFP values (≤100, 44%; 101-1,000, 39%, and > 1,000 ng/mL 64%; p = 0.12). Discordant imaging-explanted data was observed in 29% of cHCC, showing lower survival HR 2.02 (CI 1.29; 3.15) and higher recurrence rates HR 2.34 when compared to AFP <100 ng/mL. Serum AFP > 1,000 ng/mL at listing was independently associated with a higher 5-year recurrence rate and a HR of 3.24 when compared to AFP <100 ng/mL. Conclusion. Although overall results are comparable to other regions worldwide, pre-LT treatment not only considering imaging data but also AFP values should be contemplated during the next years.
Introduction. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an effective and minimally invasive technique for the management of hepatic hemangiomas (HHs). This study aims to assess the safety and efficacy of laparoscopic RFA for HHs. Material and methods. Forty-four patients with 50 hepatic hemangiomas (5-10 cm in diameter) undergoing laparoscopic RFA from January 2012 to May 2015 at three tertiary hospitals in China were retrospectively analyzed. Results. Thirty-three patients with subcapsular hemangiomas were treated with a laparoscopic approach, and 11 patients with lesions in the liver parenchyma were treated with a combined laparoscopy and an ultrasound-guided percutaneous approach. No conversion to open surgery or two-step surgery occurred during the study period. Patients with small hemangiomas (< 7 cm) required a significantly shorter operating time (71.1 � 20.18 min vs. 106 � 23.55 min, p = 0.000) and fewer punctures compared with patients with large hemangiomas (> 7 cm) (4.61 � 1.09 vs. 6.73 � 1.01, P < 0.05). According to the Dindo-Clavien classification, 15 patients experienced 34 Grade 1 complications, and two had complications of Grade 3a. All complications were resolved by conservative treatment. Forty-three (86.0%) HHs in 38 patients were completely ablated after RFA, and 7 (14.0%) HHs in 6 patients were incompletely ablated. All patients were followed up for 6-24 months (mean 15 � 6 months). Conclusion. The data showed that laparoscopic RFA is an effective treatment for small (< 10 cm) HHs. While the incidence of postoperative complications remains high, the majority of complications are minor. Patients undergoing laparoscopic RFA for HHs, even for the small ones, should be carefully selected.
Introduction: Despite reports of increased incidence of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) in the United States, the impact of age or influences of race and ethnicity are not clear. Disparities in iCCA outcomes across various population subgroups also are not readily recognized due to the rarity of this cancer. We examined ethnic, race, age, and gender variations in iCCA incidence and survival using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (1995-2014). Materials and methods: We assessed age-adjusted incidence rates, average annual percentage change in incidence, and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause and iCCA-specific mortality. Results: Overall, 11,127 cases of iCCA were identified, with an age-adjusted incidence rate of 0.92 per 100,000. The incidence rate increased twofold, from 0.49 per 100,000 in 1995 to 1.49 per 100,000 in 2014, with an average annual rate of increase of 5.49%. The iCCA incidence rate was higher among persons age 45 years or older than those younger than 45 years (1.71 vs. 0.07 per 100,000), among males than females (0.97 vs. 0.88 per 100,000) and among Hispanics than non-Hispanics (1.18 vs. 0.89 per 100,000). Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics had poorer 5-year all-cause mortality (HR=1.11, 95%CI: 1.05?1.19) and poorer iCCA-specific mortality (HR=1.15, 95%CI: 1.07?1.24). Survival rates were poor also for individuals age 45 years or older, men, Blacks, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. Conclusion: The results demonstrate ethnic, race, age and gender disparities in iCCA incidence and survival, and confirm continued increase in iCCA incidence in the United States.
Introduction. Adiponectin and resistin levels are increased in patients with cirrhosis, but it prognostic significance is unknown. We sought to investigate the factors associated with adiponectin and resistin levels and its clinical significance in patients with cirrhosis. Materials and methods. This was a prospective cohort study that included 122 subjects with cirrhosis who attended an outpatient clinic and were initially evaluated in 2012. Serum adiponectin and resistin levels were measured in samples collected in 2012 (adiponectin and resistin) and 2014 (adiponectin). Thirty healthy subjects served as a control group. Results. Higher adiponectin (21.59 ? g/mL vs. 12.52 ?g/mL, P < 0.001) and resistin levels (3.83 ng/mL vs. 2.66 ng/mL, P < 0.001) were observed among patients with cirrhosis compared to controls. Patients classified as Child-Pugh B/C had higher adiponectin levels in relation to Child-Pugh A patients. At second measurement, adiponectin levels increased significantly in non-transplant patients and decreased in liver transplant recipients. Univariate Cox analysis showed that among patients with alcoholic liver disease, adiponectin levels were associated with lower transplant-free survival (HR = 1.034, 95% CI 1.006 - 1.062, P = 0.016). The transplant-free survival was significantly lower among patients with alcoholic liver disease and adiponectin ? 17 ?g/mL (26.55 months, 95% CI 21.40-31.70) as compared to those with levels < 17 ?g/mL (33.76 months, 95% CI 30.70-36.82) (P = 0.045). No relationship was found between the levels of resistin and survival. Conclusion. Adiponectin but not resistin levels were associated with intensity of liver dysfunction and worse prognosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease, suggesting a potential as a prognostic biomarker.
Introduction. Type-1 hepatorenal syndrome (HRS-1) portends a poor prognosis in patients with cirrhosis. Currently available medical therapies are largely ineffective, save for liver transplantation. We aimed to determine if pentoxifylline (PTX) therapy in addition to the standard of care of volume expansion with albumin and vasoconstriction with midodrine and octreotide (AMO) is safe and efficacious compared to AMO in HRS-1 treatment. Material and methods. Hospitalized subjects with decompensated cirrhosis and HRS-1 were enrolled. PTX or placebo was administered with AMO therapy for up to 14 days. The primary endpoint was HRS-1 resolution (serum creatinine ≤ 1.5 g/dL for > 24 h). Secondary endpoints were change in creatinine and MELD score, partial treatment response, 30-and 180-day overall and transplant free survival. Results. Twelve subjects with mean age 58.9 ± 6.2 years were enrolled and randomized. Mean MELD score was 26.5 ± 7.4 and 58.3% were male. Overall cohort 30- and 180-day survival was 58.3% and 33.3% respectively. Two subjects underwent liver transplantation. HRS-1 resolution (16.7% vs. 16.7%, p = 1.000), partial treatment response (33.3% vs. 16.7%, p = 0.505), change in creatinine (+0.48 g/dL, 95% CI -0.49-1.46 vs. +0.03 g/dL, 95% CI -0.64-0.70, p = 0.427), 30-day survival (66.6% vs. 50.0%, p = 0.558) and 180-day survival (50.0% vs. 16.7%, p = 0.221) were similar between the two groups. Serious adverse events necessitating treatment discontinuation were rare (n = 1, PTX). Discussion. The addition of PTX to AMO in the treatment of HRS-1 is safe when compared to the current standard of care. Future large-scale prospective study to validate the efficacy of this treatment seems warranted.
Introduction. The present study aimed to elucidate the potential antifibrotic effects of pinocembrin (PIN), a flavanone found abundantly in honey and propolis, by studying its effect on different oxidative stress, inflammatory and fibrosis markers in an experimental model of CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. Material and methods. PIN (20 mg/kg) was given orally 3 times/week for 6 consecutive weeks alternating with CCl4 (0.5 mL/kg, 1:1 mixture with corn oil, i. p.) twice weekly. Different hepatotoxicity indices, oxidative stress, inflammatory and liver fibrosis markers were assessed. Results. PIN significantly restored liver transaminases and total cholesterol to normal levels. Also, PIN ameliorated oxidative stress injury evoked by CCl4 as evidenced by inhibition of reduced glutathione depletion and lipid peroxidation as well as elevation of antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Further, PIN upregulated the nuclear factor erythroid 2 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2), thereby inducing the expression and activity of the cytoprotective enzyme hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). Moreover, PIN alleviated pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α via inhibiting nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation. As markers of fibrosis, collagen and α-SMA expression increased markedly in the CCl4 group and PIN prevented these alterations. In addition, PIN down-regulated TGFβ1 and p-Smad2/3, thereby inhibiting TGFβ1/Smad signaling pathway. Conclusion. These results suggest that PIN possess potent antifibrotic effects that can be explained on its antioxidant properties. It ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammation during induction of fibrogenesis via its ability to augment celular antioxidant defenses, activating Nrf2-mediated HO-1 expression and modulating NF-κB and TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway.
Background and rationale for the study. Bacterial translocation is an important triggering factor of infection and mortality in cirrhosis. In a rat model using bile duct ligation (BDL), bacterial translocation appears within 24 h after ligation. The dynamic between TH1/TH2/TH17 cytokines and the integrity of the colonic mucosa in the context of cirrhosis is little known. This study aims to determine the link between bacterial translocation and intestinal inflammation in a cholestasis model. Additionally, alterations of the colonic mucus layer and the bacterial load were also addressed. Results. Bacterial translocation detected by microbiological cultures and MALDI-TOF showed that Escherichia coli predominates in mesenteric lymph nodes of BDL rats. Intestinal bacterial load analyzed by qPCR indicates a dramatic Escherichia/Shigella overgrowth at 8 and 30 days post-BDL. IFN-?, IL-4, and IL-17 evaluated by Western blotting were increased at 8 and 30 days in the small intestine. In the colon, in contrast, only IFN-? was significantly increased. The colonic mucus layer and mucin-2 expression determined by Alcian blue staining and immunohistochemistry surprisingly showed an increase in the mucus layer thickness related to increased mucin-2 expression during the entire process of liver damage. Hepatic enzymes, as well as collagen I, collagen III, TNF-?, and IL-6 liver gene expression were increased. In conclusion, bacterial overgrowth associated with bacterial translocation is linked to the over-expression of IFN-?, IL-4, IL-17 and mucin-2. These molecules might facilitate the intestinal permeability through exacerbating the inflammatory process and disturbing tight junctions, leading to the perpetuation of the liver damage.
Kawasaki's disease (KD) is a systemic vasculitis often seen with viral and bacterial infections. Cholangitis is a known complication in biliary atresia patients post Kasai Portoenterostomy (KP). However KD, in a biliary atresia patient post KP has not been previously reported. A 1 years old girl who had previously undergone a KP for BA, presented with cholangitis which was presumed to be caused by a previous enterobacter infection that she had 2 months ago. However, on treating the cholangitis, the patient developed fever again after ten days which persisted even after changing the antibiotics. By this time she also displayed three of five characteristic features of KD in form of fever, strawberry tongue and cervical adenopathy. Investigations showed high ESR, high CRP, thrombocythemia and dilated coronary vessels on echocardiography. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and steroids caused the symptoms to subside.
Hepatitis E in industrialized countries is mainly associated with genotype 3 hepatitis E virus (HEV) and normally causes a sporadic self-limiting disease in immunocompetent individuals. Unlike genotype 3, genotypes 1 and 2 circulate in developing countries, produce severe disease and occur in the epidemic form. Hepatitis E occurring in travellers returning from endemic areas in developing countries is not a novel epidemiological occurrence, however the vast majority of cases remain to be genetically studied. The present study describes two cases of severe acute hepatitis E that required hospitalization for 6 and 9 days in two individuals of Indian nationality that had recently migrated to Portugal to work. The retrieved HEV sequences both belonged to genotype 1 and had a high degree of nucleotide sequence identity, clustering with strains isolated in India and Nepal, in 2013 and 2014. Confirmed HEV genotypes of increased pathogenicity like genotype 1 are being introduced into otherwise naïve populations of industrialized countries such as European countries with consequences difficult to predict. As far as we know the present study is the first in Portugal to describe and genetically characterize imported cases of hepatitis E infection caused by HEV genotype 1.