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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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Association between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Elastographic Parameters of Liver Steatosis and Fibrosis: Controlled Attenuation Parameter and Liver Stiffness Measurements
Aim. Our aim was to investigate the association among elastographic parameters of liver steatosis and fibrosis, controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) and liver stiffness measurement (LSM), with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Methods. In this prospective, cross-sectional study, we have evaluated 937 patients with one or more components of the metabolic syndrome who had an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) due to GERD symptoms. In all patients, a laboratory analysis, an abdominal ultrasound, and FibroScan measurements were done. GERD was defined by EGD. Results. The mean body mass index (BMI) of the study population was 30.95 ± 5.45 kg/m2. The prevalence of increased CAP was 82.6% (774/937). Patients with increased CAP were younger, were more obese, had higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, and had higher values of aminotransferases. Similar results of higher prevalence in patients with elevated CAP were observed with GERD, hiatal hernia, and insufficient cardia (defined as deficient or absent closure of the gastric inlet in relation to the esophagus). Additionally, patients with elevated CAP had a higher prevalence of GERD grades B and C in comparison to those without elevated CAP. Consequently, patients who did not have elevated CAP had a higher prevalence of GERD grade A. Even though we have found an upward trend in the prevalence of GERD, hiatal hernia, and insufficient cardia, there was no significant difference between subjects with fibrosis (F) 1-2 and F3-4 stage of fibrosis or F1 and F2-4. In a binary logistic regression, a significant positive association with GERD was obtained for CAP. Furthermore, a significant positive association with hiatal hernia was obtained for BMI and CAP. Finally, a significant positive association with hiatal hernia was obtained with CAP in multivariate analysis. Conclusion. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first to reveal a positive association between CAP as a surrogate marker of liver steatosis and GERD after adjustments for other clinical variables.
Cystic Echinococcosis/Hydatid Cyst Coinfection with HIV: A Report from Shiraz, Iran
HIV coinfected with other parasitic diseases may cause a serious problem for the patients. A few case reports describing echinococcosis with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have been reported in the world; however, it has not been reported in Iran, so far. Here, the first case of liver hydatid cyst coinfected with HIV in Iran is reported. The patient is a 46-year-old female HIV-positive based on the laboratory report. Her clinical symptoms included abdominal pain, abdominal enlargement, and anorexia. Ultrasound showed three large hepatic hydatid cysts with hundreds of daughter cysts. Ultrasonography of the cyst revealed it as a CE2 stage according to the WHO classification. The patient went under complete anesthesia followed by complete cyst removal by surgery. Observation of the hydatid cyst fluid using eosin 0.1% revealed more than 70% viable protoscoleces. Histopathology examination, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and viable protoscoleces confirmed the diagnosis of echinococcosis. The IgG ELISA test with native AgB for E. granulosus infection was also positive. mtDNA amplification using PCR and sequencing showed the cyst as E. granulosus sensu stricto genotype. Our observations show that huge, large, and high-pressure cysts with hundreds of daughter cysts are difficult to be completely removed, and drug treatment has not been able to reduce their size. Therefore, in HIV coinfection with hydatid cyst, surgery is preferable to other treatments.
Metabolic Alteration in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Mechanism of Lipid Accumulation in Well-Differentiated Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Objective. Metabolic alteration is widely considered as one of the hallmarks of cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) presents a unique pathological feature in which lipid accumulation is common in well-differentiated HCC and rare in poorly differentiated HCC; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Methods. Tissue samples were obtained from 103 HCC patients who had undergone hepatic resection and 12 living donors of liver transplantation. We evaluated metabolic gene expressions in cancer tissues as well as background noncancer tissues and compared the expressions by the degree of cancer differentiation and by liver disease states. Besides, the metabolomics was evaluated and integrated to gene expressions in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-HCC model mice. Results. In cancer tissues, the expression levels of enzymes related to glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), and fatty acid (FA) synthesis were increased and that of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and β-oxidation were suppressed. Same metabolic alterations were observed in noncancer tissue as the liver disease progresses from healthy liver to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and HCC. Similar alterations of metabolic genes were detected in NASH-HCC mice, which were consistent with the results of metabolomics. As the degree of cancer differentiation decreased, glycolysis and PPP were accelerated; however, FA synthesis and uptake were diminished. Conclusions. The metabolic alterations including glycolysis, PPP, TCA cycle, and β-oxidation became more prominent as liver disease progresses from normal, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, well-, moderately, and poorly differentiated HCC. FA synthesis and uptake were highest in well-differentiated HCC, which could explain the lipid accumulation.
NAFLD, Insulin Resistance, and Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition defined by fat accumulation in hepatocytes not promoted by excessive alcohol consumption. It is highly prevalent and is strongly associated with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes type II. Insulin resistance plays a crucial role in the multifactorial etiopathogenesis of this condition leading to accumulation of free fatty acids in the liver cells, thus causing lipotoxicity, inflammation, and fibrosis. In this review, we will focus on currently known pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Numerous investigation strategies are available to establish the diagnosis, from biochemical markers and ultrasound to various molecular and advanced imaging techniques and liver biopsy. Prevention is crucial. However, effective and promising therapies are strongly demanded.
Lactate and Bilirubin Index: A New Indicator to Predict Critically Ill Cirrhotic Patients’ Prognosis
Objectives. We aimed to perform external validation of the prognostic value of the lactate and bilirubin (LB) index, a new indicator, and compare the ability of the LB index and other scoring systems to predict both short- and long-term mortality in critically ill cirrhotic patients. Materials and Methods. A number of 479 cirrhotic patients admitted into ICU were included in our research. We measured prognostic scores in the first 24 hours including LB index, Child–Pugh, SOFA, CLIF-SOFA, and MELD scores. The LB index was calculated as follows: ln [1000 × lactate (mmol/L) × bilirubin (µmol/L)]/2. The primary outcomes were 28-day and 3-year all-cause mortality. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the independent association between the LB index and the mortality in critically ill cirrhotic patients. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to assess the prediction accuracy of short- and long-term mortality of the clinical score. Calibration of the score was evaluated by Hosmer–Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test for significance. Results. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that the LB index (odds ratio: 5.487, 95% confidence interval: 3.542–8.501, ) was the strongest predictor for 28-day mortality. The LB index gave the highest area under the curve (0.791, 95% confidence interval: 0.747–0.836) in predicting 28-day mortality. For predicting 3-year mortality, the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score showed better discrimination ability with an area under the curve of 0.726 (95% confidence interval: 0.680–0.771). The risk of mortality significantly increased when the clinical scores were ≥ the optimal cutoff values. Conclusions. The LB index, a simple prognostic indicator, performs well in predicting critically ill cirrhotic patients’ short-term prognosis, while, for long-term prognosis, the MELD score is more appropriate.
Assessment of Steatosis and Fibrosis in Liver Transplant Recipients Using Controlled Attenuation Parameter and Liver Stiffness Measurements
Aim. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of increased controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) and liver stiffness measurements (LSM) as surrogate markers of liver steatosis and fibrosis in liver transplant recipient (LTR). Secondary objectives were to determine the predictors of increased CAP and LSM in population of LTR. Methods. In this prospective, cross-sectional study, we have evaluated 175 LTRs’ mean age as 61 (53–65) with a functioning graft for more than one year who came for regular outpatient examinations to the Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital (UH) Merkur, Zagreb, Croatia. Results. Of 175 analyzed LTRs, 34.28% had obesity, 64.00% had hypertension, 38.28% had diabetes, and 58.85% had hyperlipidemia. The prevalence of liver steatosis was 68.57%, while the prevalence of severe liver steatosis was 46.85%. On multivariate analysis, independent factors associated with liver steatosis were male gender, total cholesterol as positive predictor, and HDL as negative predictor, and independent factors positively associated with severe liver steatosis were higher body mass index (BMI) and higher triglyceride levels. The prevalence of moderate liver fibrosis was 54.85%, while the prevalence of advanced liver fibrosis was 24%. On multivariate analysis, independent factors positively associated with moderate fibrosis were gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and CAP, while the independent factor positively associated with advanced fibrosis was GGT. Conclusion. Our study showed high prevalence of increased CAP and LSM measurements as surrogate markers of liver steatosis and fibrosis. Metabolic syndrome components were highly present and were associated with CAP and LSM values as well as in the pretransplant setting. Due to high prevalence of metabolic comorbidities and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in LTRs and the lack of the abnormal liver test in a significant number of these patients, TE with CAP may be a reasonable initial assessment for LTRs with one or more components of the metabolic syndrome.