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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.
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Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice towards Hepatitis B Virus among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care at the University of Gondar Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia
Background. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a serious public health concern worldwide. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) is the major mode in endemic areas, including Ethiopia, where little is known about pregnant women’s knowledge, attitudes, and practice towards HBV infection and MTCT. Therefore, the study is aimed at determining the knowledge, attitude, and practice towards HBV among pregnant women attending antenatal care. Method. A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to April 2018, at the University of Gondar Comprehensive Specialized Hospital. A total of 354 pregnant women were selected by systematic random sampling and included in this study. KAP of participants on HBV MTCT was assessed using a structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22 software. Result. The total response rate was 100% (354/354). Out of the 354 participants, 73.4% were within the poor knowledge. Only 18.9% of the respondents know HBV can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. Less than half (43.8) of the participants think that they will never be infected with HBV, and 47.7% of them go to traditional healers when they have symptoms of HBV. Majority of the respondents (85.87%) had never screened for HBV, and only 28.5% of the participants believed that hepatitis B can cause liver cancer. In multivariable analysis, residence, income, and educational level were associated with mean score knowledge and attitude. Conclusions. Knowledge about HBV among pregnant women was found to be poor, and their attitude and practice were also limited. Therefore, extensive health education program should be given to the pregnant women to increase their awareness towards HBV infection. All pregnant women should be screened for HBV as part of ANC follow-up.
Impact of Treatment with Direct Acting Antiviral Drugs on Glycemic Control in Patients with Hepatitis C and Diabetes Mellitus
Aim. To assess the effect of treating chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with direct acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) on glycemic control in patients with concomitant diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods. We performed a retrospective case-control study in a viral hepatitis ambulatory clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana, during the period 11/01/2014 to 12/31/2017. All the clinic patient ages 18 years and above with treatment-naïve/biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis C and DM () who were eligible for treatment were included in the study. Of 118 such patients, 59 were treated with oral DAAs for 8-12 weeks with the goal of achieving a sustained virologic response (SVR). A control group of 59 patients did not receive treatment for their hepatitis C and was followed in the clinic. Patients in the control group did not receive treatment either due to insurance issues or refusal of hepatitis C treatment. Results. Fifty-five of the 59 patients treated with DAAs (93%) achieved a SVR. Six months after treatment completion, their HbA1C level had decreased by (). Four of the 59 patients treated with DAAs did not achieve a SVR. Their mean HbA1C 6 months after treatment completion had increased by . Furthermore, there was no improvement in HbA1C levels over time in the untreated group (mean HbA1C increase, ; vs. the treatment group, which had a mean HbA1C decrease of ). Conclusion. This controlled study demonstrated that treatment of chronic hepatitis C with DAAs results in statistically significant and meaningful reductions in hemoglobin A1C levels in patients with coexisting diabetic mellitus if a SVR is achieved.
Dilatation Therapy and Demographic Characteristics Significantly Influence the Amount of Propofol for Therapeutic Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiography
Background and Study Aims. Patients undergoing therapeutic endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) may require different amounts of sedative agents depending on demographic characteristics, indication of ERC, and/or endoscopic intervention. Patients and Methods. We retrospectively analyzed all patients undergoing therapeutic ERC from 2008 – 2014 who received deep sedation with propofol ± midazolam. Results. A total of 2448 ERC procedures were performed in 781 patients. The cumulative per procedure propofol dose in the different groups was as follows: PSC 479 mg (±256), bile duct stones 356 mg (±187), benign stenosis/cholestasis 395 mg (±228), malignant stenosis 401 mg (±283), and postliver transplant complications 391 mg (±223) (p < 0.05). Multivariable analysis showed that dilatation therapy (p = 0.001), age (p = 0.001), duration of the intervention (p = 0.001), BMI (p = 0.001), gender (p = 0.001), platelet count (p = 0.003), and bilirubin (p = 0.043) influence independently the propofol consumption. Conclusions. Demographic characteristics and endoscopic interventions have a distinct influence on the amount of sedation required for therapeutic ERC. Although the sedation-associated complication rate is low optimization of sedative regimens is a prime goal to further reduce adverse events of therapeutic ERC.
Diagnostic Utility of Serum Ascites Lipid and Protein Gradients in Differentiation of Ascites
Context. Ability of SAAG to differentiate malignant ascites from other aetiologies like tubercular peritonitis is a major problem. Alternate screening test is needed for differentiating ascites due to malignancy from those due to tubercular peritonitis. Aims. To study the diagnostic utility of serum ascites lipid gradients and serum ascites protein gradients in pathophysiological differentiation of ascites. Settings and Design. The present study is a prospective, descriptive, hospital-based, cross-sectional study. Methods and Material. The study was conducted on patients with ascites who were admitted to General Medicine Department, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. The study included 60 patients with ascites of different etiologies (liver cirrhosis, tubercular peritonitis, and malignant ascites). All of them had undergone clinical, laboratory, and imaging investigations and were treated as per standard of care. All patients underwent abdominal paracentesis, and fluid samples were sent for analysis. Statistical Analysis Used. ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis H test, and ROC curve analysis. Results. Among the gradients, only SAPG and SAAG had over all statistical significance (<0.005) among the groups, but no significance between malignancy and tubercular peritonitis had been observed. Similarly all the ascitic fluid parameters measured had an overall statistical significance (<0.005), but there was no significant difference observed between malignancy and tubercular peritonitis groups. However, ascitic fluid and serum HDL cholesterol had a statistical significance (<0.05) between malignancy and tubercular peritonitis. Conclusions. With a cut-off value of 4, SAPG is one of best screening tests in differentiation of cirrhotic with noncirrhotic ascites when compared with SAAG, whereas it is a poor parameter with high sensitivity and very low specificity in differentiation of malignant with nonmalignant ascites. Also the present study reveals HDL cholesterol levels in ascitic fluid to be a valuable marker with higher sensitivity and specificity in differentiation of malignancy and tuberculosis peritonitis (i.e., differentiation of low SAAG ascites).
Ability of the Short Physical Performance Battery Frailty Index to Predict Mortality and Hospital Readmission in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis
Background/Aims. Unplanned hospitalisation is a marker of poor prognosis and a major financial burden in patients with cirrhosis. Frailty-screening tools could determine the risk for unplanned hospital admissions and death. The study aims to evaluate the bedside frailty-screening tool (Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)) in prediction of mortality in patients with liver cirrhosis. Methods. One hundred forty-five patients with liver cirrhosis were recruited from Cairo University Hospital. Clinical assessment and routine laboratory tests were performed, and the SPPB frailty index, Child score, and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score were calculated on admission. These metrics were compared to assess mortality outcomes over the course of 90 days. Results. The mean age of the patients was 60 ± 7 years, and frailty index score (SD) was 6 ± 3. The overall 90-day readmission rate was 43.4%, while the overall 90-day mortality rate was 18.6%. SPPB scores differed significantly between survivors (4.1 ± 1.4) and nonsurvivors (6.47 ± 2.8) (P value ≤ 0.001) as well as between readmitted patients (7.5 ± 2.9) and patients who were not readmitted (4.5 ± 1.9) (P value ≤ 0.001), while the Child and MELD scores showed no associations with patient outcomes. SPPB performed better with a specificity of 72.3% and a sensitivity of 72.2% for predicting mortality. Conclusions. SPPB could be a screening tool used to detect frailty and excelled over traditional scores as a predictor of death. A low SPPB frailty score among hospitalised patients with cirrhosis is associated with poor outcomes.
Preoperative Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Plus Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Predicts the Outcomes after Curative Resection for Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Background. In recent years, inflammation-based scoring systems have been reported to predict survival in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The aim of our study was to validate combined preoperative Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte ratio (NLR)-Platelet-to-Lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in predicting overall survival (OS) and recurrence free survival (RFS) in patients who underwent curative resection for HCC. Methods. We conducted a retrospective study of HCC patients underwent liver resection with curative intent from January 2010 to December 2013. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to determine the optimal cut-off values for NLR and PLR. Patients with both NLR and PLR elevated were allocated a score of 2; patients showing one or neither of these indices elevated were accorded a score of 1 or 0, respectively. Results. 132 patients with a median age of 66 years (range 18-87) underwent curative resection for HCC. Overall morbidity was 30.3%, 30-day mortality was 2.3%, and 90-day mortality was 6.8%. At a median follow-up of 24 months (range 1-88), 25% patients died, and 40.9% had recurrence. On multivariate analysis, elevated preoperative NLR-PLR was predictive of both OS (HR 2.496; CI 1.156-5.389; p=0.020) and RFS (HR 1.917; CI 1.161-3.166; p=0.011). The 5-year OS was 76% for NLR-PLR=0 group, 21.7% for the NLR-PLR=1 group, and 61.1% for the NLR-PLR=2 group, respectively. The 5-year RFS was 39.3% for the NLR-PLR=0 group, 18.4% for the NLR-PLR=1 group, and 21.1% for the NLR-PLR=2 group, respectively. Conclusion. The preoperative NLR-PLR is predictive of both OS and RFS in patients with HCC undergoing curative liver resection.