International Journal of Hepatology
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Submission to final decision91 days
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CiteScore4.400
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Knowledge, Attitude, Practices, and Associated Factor towards Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Health Care Professionals at Tibebe Ghion Specialized Hospital, Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia, 2021: A Cross Sectional Study

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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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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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Research Article

Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Single-Center 3-Year Experience from Somalia

Background. To evaluate the relationship between prognosticators representing tumor aggressiveness and socio-demographic, laboratory, and imaging findings in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods. We retrospectively searched patients with HCC between January 2017 and December 2019 in our tertiary referral hospital. The tumor-related factors and liver damage indicators and their relationship to indicate the value of prognosis were analyzed. Results. A total of 268 HCC patients, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.8 : 1. The mean age was 52.6 years. The patient with portal vein thrombosis (PVT) was older, had higher liver laboratory parameters (AST, ALT, total bilirubin, and direct bilirubin), and had larger tumor size. Patients with the larger tumor size had a higher AFP level, had more tumor multifocality. The majority of patients were in Child’s A (73.6%) and B (17.2%) classes. The laboratory parameters of HCC patients were increased in Child’s C compared to other groups of Child-Pugh classification. Conclusions. The presence of PVT and large-sized tumor in patients with HCC indicated a poorer prognosis than non-PVT group and small tumor sizes.

Research Article

Urinary BA Indices as Prognostic Biomarkers for Complications Associated with Liver Diseases

Hepatobiliary diseases and their complications cause the accumulation of toxic bile acids (BA) in the liver, blood, and other tissues, which may exacerbate the underlying condition and lead to unfavorable prognosis. To develop and validate prognostic biomarkers for the prediction of complications of cholestatic liver disease based on urinary BA indices, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyze urine samples from 257 patients with cholestatic liver diseases during a 7-year follow-up period. The urinary BA profile and non-BA parameters were monitored, and logistic regression models were used to predict the prognosis of hepatobiliary disease-related complications. Urinary BA indices were applied to quantify the composition, metabolism, hydrophilicity, and toxicity of the BA profile. We have developed and validated the bile-acid liver disease complication (BALDC) model based on BA indices using logistic regression model, to predict the prognosis of cholestatic liver disease complications including ascites. The mixed BA and non-BA model was the most accurate and provided higher area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and smaller akaike information criterion (AIC) values compared to both non-BA and MELD (models for end stage liver disease) models. Therefore, the mixed BA and non-BA model could be used to predict the development of ascites in patients diagnosed with liver disease at early stages of intervention. This will help physicians to make a better decision when treating hepatobiliary disease-related ascites.

Research Article

Disproportionate Distribution of HBV Genotypes A and D and the Recombinant Genotype D/E in the High and Low HBV Endemic Regions of Uganda: A Wake-Up Call for Regional Specific HBV Management

Background. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the leading cause of liver-related diseases. In Uganda, there is a regional disparity in the HBV burden. Our study was aimed at establishing the circulating genotypes in a low and a high endemic region to give plausible explanations for the differences in regional burden and guide the future management of the disease. Methods. A total of 200 HBsAg-seropositive subjects were recruited into the study by convenience sampling. The HBsAg Rapid Test Strip (Healgen Scientific Limited Liability Company, Houston, TX77047- USA) was used to screen for HBsAg while the Roche machine (Roche, Basel Switzerland/Abbot Technologies (USA)) was used to determine the viral load. The Chemistry Analyzer B120 (Mindray, China) was used for chemistry analysis. For HBV genotyping, total DNA was extracted from whole blood using the QIAamp® DNA extraction kit. Nested PCR amplification was performed using Platinum Taq DNA Polymerase (Invitrogen Corporation, USA) to amplify the 400 bp HBV polymerase gene. Purification of nested PCR products was performed using Purelink PCR product purification kit (Life Technologies, USA). Automated DNA sequencing was performed using BigDye Terminator v3.1 Cycle Sequencing Kit on 3130 Genetic Analyzer (Applied Biosystems, USA). The NCBI HBV genotyping tool (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/genotyping/formpage.cgi) was used for determination of genotype for each HBV sequence. Pearson’s chi-square, multinomial logistic regression, and Mann–Whitney tests were used for the analysis. All the analyses were done using SPSS version 26.0 and MedCalc software version 19.1.3 at 95% CI. A was considered statistically significant. Results. Majority of our study subjects were female (64.5%), youth (51.0%), and married (62.0%). Overall, genotype A was the most prevalent (46%). Genotype D and the recombinant genotype D/E were proportionately more distributed in the high endemic (38.2%) and low endemic (36.5%) regions, respectively. Genotype D was significantly more prevalent in the high endemic region and among the elderly (). Genotype D was significantly associated with elevated viral load and direct bilirubin (). The recombinant genotype D/E was significantly associated with elevated viral load (). Similarly, genotype A was significantly associated with elevated AST and GGT, lowered viral load, and normal direct bilirubin levels (). Conclusion. There is disproportionate distribution of genotypes A and D and the recombinant genotype D/E in the low and high endemic regions of Uganda. This probably could explain the differences in endemicity of HBV in our country signifying the need for regional specific HBV management and control strategies.

Research Article

Role of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) as a Clinical Predictor of Decompensation in Patients with Chronic Liver Disease (CLD)

Introduction. Systemic inflammation triggered by bacterial products like lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the circulation is an important factor leading to decompensation in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) has a significant role in innate immune response to LPS in the circulation and could therefore increase the risk for decompensation in patients with CLD. In this study, we have explored the role of HDL-C as a prognostic marker for decompensation. Methods. This was a prospective, observational, cohort study where consecutive patients with CLD were included. Patients with cholestatic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma were excluded. Fasting lipids were measured in all patients at the time of recruitment. Each patient was carefully followed up for development of decompensation events such as new-onset/worsening ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, or variceal bleed during follow-up. Results. A total of 170 patients were included (mean age years, ). At the end of follow-up, 97/170 patients (57%) had decompensation events. Mean HDL-C levels were significantly lower among patients with decompensation ( mg/dL vs.  mg/dL; value 0.004). Using ROC analysis, cut-off for HDL-C of 36.4 mg/dL was identified. On multivariate analysis, HDL-C (; 95% CI 2.39-15.39) was found to have an independent association with risk of decompensation. Conclusions. HDL-C level (<36.4 mg/dL) is a reliable marker for risk of decompensation and can be a useful addition to existing prognostic scoring systems in CLD. It can be a valuable tool to streamline treatment protocols and prioritise liver transplantation.

Research Article

Diastolic Dysfunction Is a Predictor of Poor Survival in Patients with Decompensated Cirrhosis

Background. Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) appears to be the earliest cardiac disturbance in cirrhosis patients. There are many previous reports reporting the significance of severity of LVDD on the outcome of liver transplantation or TIPS insertion, a few Indian studies have addressed the role of LVDD on survival in decompensated cirrhosis. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of LVDD on the survival of decompensated cirrhotic patients. Methods. We prospectively evaluated 92 decompensated cirrhotic patients from April 2015 to March 2017 at IMS and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, India. 2D echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging was used to evaluate cardiac function, as per the American society of echocardiography guidelines. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the effect of LVDD on overall mortality. Results. Ninety-two decompensated cirrhotic patients were evaluated in this prospective cohort study. Twenty-eight out of 92 patients (30%) died due to liver-related complications after a follow-up of 24 months. The decompensated cirrhotic patients with had a significantly higher ratio ( vs. , ) suggesting severe LV dysfunction in advanced cirrhosis. Patients with had significantly higher MELD score and Child-Pugh score ( vs. ; vs. , , respectively) as compared to the group. In Cox proportional hazard multivariate analysis, (HR 2.72, 95% CI 1.07-6.9, ) and serum albumin (HR 0.32, 95% CI 0.14-0.7, ) were found to be independent predictors of mortality in decompensated cirrhotic patients. Conclusion: The presence of LVDD and low serum albumin were independent predictors of mortality in decompensated cirrhotic patients. Hence, LVDD is an indicator of advanced cirrhosis and mortality.

Research Article

Supplementation with Branched-Chain Amino Acids Induces Unexpected Deleterious Effects on Astrocyte Survival and Intracellular Metabolism with or without Hyperammonemia: A Preliminary In Vitro Study

Introduction. Ammonia is a key component in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) have been reported to improve the symptoms of HE induced by hyperammonemia; however, we recently reported that ammonia increases intracellular levels of BCAA and exerts toxic effects on astrocytes. Objectives. This follow-up study was designed to confirm the direct effects of BCAA on human astrocytes and clarify their underlying mechanisms using metabolome analysis and evaluation of associated signaling. Methods. We performed cytotoxicity and cell proliferation tests on astrocytes following BCAA treatment with and without ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) and then compared the results with the effects of BCAA on hepatocytes and neurons. Subsequently, we used metabolomic analysis to investigate intracellular metabolite levels in astrocytes with and without BCAA treatment. Results. The astrocytes showed increased leakage of intracellular lactate dehydrogenase and reduced proliferation rate upon BCAA treatment. Interestingly, our analysis showed a BCAA-induced impairment of intracellular glycolysis/glyconeogenesis as well as amino acid and butyric acid metabolism. Furthermore, BCAA treatment was found to cause decreased levels of Glut-1 and phosphorylated GSK-3β and mTOR in astrocytes. Conclusions. Although further investigations of the effect of BCAA on human astrocytes with hyperammonemia are needed, our work demonstrates that BCAA supplementation has direct negative effects on astrocyte survival and intracellular metabolism.

International Journal of Hepatology
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate20%
Submission to final decision91 days
Acceptance to publication22 days
CiteScore4.400
Journal Citation Indicator0.640
Impact Factor-
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