Liver Shorts -January 2020

S Nagai et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019; 17: 2759-68. For patients who underwent liver transplantation during 2016–2017, a significantly lower proportion of patients with NASH survived for 1 year after transplantation than patients with HCV (P = .004) or ALD (P < .001). 1-year patient survival rates: NASH 90.4%, HCV 92.8%, ALD 93.5%. Full Text: Increased Risk of Death in First Year After Liver Transplantation Among Patients With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis vs Liver Disease of Other Etiologies

JE Squires et al. JPGN 2020; 70: 79-86.  Using a prospective, longitudinal database, this study from ChiLDReN network with 93 children with biliary atresia and native liver found that NO increased prevalence of neurodevelopmental delays. Markers of advanced liver disease (high bilirubin/GGT for those ≤5 yrs, and portal hypertension for those >5 years) did negatively affect neurodevelopmental measures.

C Jaramillo et al. JPGN 2020; 70: 87-92.  This pilot study with 21 patients found that degree of fibrosis, quantified by collagen hybridizing peptide, at time of Kasai, was associated with the risk of requiring a liver transplantation by age 4 years.  Total bilirubin >2 mg/dL and Albumin ❤ g/dL at 3 months post-Kasai were also associated significantly with need for liver transplantation.

H-S Chen et al. Hepatology 2019; 70: 1903-12. In this study from Taiwan with 182 children (median age of 10.6 at enrollment) with hepatitis B and a normal ALT, a baseline anti-HBc titer of >500 IU/mL was associated with spontaneous HBeAg seroconversion with hazard ratio of 2.81.  Over the median follow-up of 19.8 years, 85 subjects (46.7%) had HBeAg seroconversion. Thus, anit-HBc reflects anti-HBV immune response in the HBeAg-positive patients with normal ALT.

Year in Review: My Favorite 2019 Posts

Yesterday, I listed the posts with the most views.  The posts below were the ones I like the most.

General/General Health:

Nutrition:

Liver:

Endoscopy:

Intestinal Disorders:

 

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

 

Most Popular Posts of 2019

The following are the most viewed posts from the past year:

Wishing friends, family and colleagues a healthy and happy New Year.

Morning in Sandy Springs, GA

 

Precision Prediction of Biliary Atresia Survival

Though young age at the time of Kasai and surgical experience have been identified as factors in the long-term outcome of patients with biliary atresia (BA), why is it that some with timely intervention still fail to respond?  Conceptually, I’ve considered those who had progressive disease as probably having an intrahepatic component of their biliary disease that a Kasai operation cannot help.

New research (Z Luo, P Shivakumar, R Mourya, S Gutta, JA Bezerra. Gastroenterol 2019; 157: 1138-52) identifies genetic factors that are likely a more powerful predictor of Kasai response then the traditional clinical factors.

The science in this study is fascinating –combining genetic heat maps, and survival curves.  The prediction with a 14-gene signature is amplified with serum total bilirubin at 3 months post-Kasai.  In addition, these studies are combined with a mouse model treated with N-acetylcysteine (NAC).  Histologic changes were then assessed.

Key findings:

  • The 14-gene mRNA expression pattern predicted shorter and longer survival times in both the discovery (n=121) and validation sets (n=50) of children with BA (see figure below: red curve vs blue curve)
  • When this 14-gene expression pattern was paired with total bilirubin level 3 months after Kasai, this identified children who survived with their native liver at 24 months with an area under the curve of 0.948 in the discovery set and 0.813 in the validation set (P<.001).
  • In those with transplant-free survival, many of the mRNAs expressed had increased scores for glutathione metabolism.  Subsequently, mice with BA were treated with NAC (which promotes glutathione metabolism) & had reduced bile duct obstruction, liver fibrosis, and increased survival times.
  • In children with lower survival rates, there was increased mRNA expression of proteins encoding fibrosis genes in the liver tissues.

My take: This 14-gene signature has the potential to change our approach to children with BA.  Also, when evaluating surgical success rate, these underlying genetic factors will need to be incorporated.

Image available online

Related blog posts:

#NASPGHAN19 Liver Symposium Notes (Part 1)

Although I was unable to attend this year’s liver symposium at NASPGHAN19, I reviewed the lecture notes.  There is some terrific content.  Here are some of the slides (borrowed with permission from NASPGHAN).

Link to complete NASPGHAN Chronic Liver Disease Symposium 2019

Session I

How do I best evaluate a cholestatic infant? Sanjiv Harpavat MD Texas Children’s Hospital 

Related blog post: What is the evidence that biliary atresia starts in utero?

As for this algorithm, in my opinion, the 1st step needs to be to exclude emergencies associated with infantile cholestasis: coagulopathy, hypoglycemia, sepsis, and checking urine for reducing substances (cow’s milk formula can worsen liver disease if galactosemia is present). Subsequently, evaluation needs to proceed quickly to determine the etiology.

How do I interpret genetic results?  Saul J. Karpen MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine/Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

What do abnormal liver enzyme levels mean in a tween?  William F. Balistreri MD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

What do I do with this abnormal radiology finding? Jean Molleston MD, Riley Children’s Hospital

I have not selected slides from Dr. Molleston’s handout –the images are terrific.  For most of the problems that are presented, the lecture notes do not provide specific recommendations for management.

Disclaimer: NASPGHAN/gutsandgrowth assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. The discussion, views, and recommendations as to medical procedures, choice of drugs and drug dosages herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the Society cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure. Some of the slides reproduced in this syllabus contain animation in the power point version. This cannot be seen in the printed version.

 

 

30 -Year Outcomes with Biliary Atresia

M Fanna et al. JPGN 2019; 69: 416-24. In this retrospective 30-year study (1986-2015) from France, patients were examined in 4 time cohorts: 1986-96, 1997-2002, 2003-9, and 2010-5.

  • Age at Kasai operation remained stable throughout the study period -median 59 days.
  • Early Kasai was associated with a reduced need for liver transplantation. 25-year survival with native liver was 38%, 27%, 22%, and 19% for patients operated in first, second, third months or later respectively.
  • Clearance of jaundice (total bilirubin ≤20 micromol/L) after Kasai did not change appreciably in the time cohorts and was 38.8%.
  • 753 (of 1428 in cohort) patients underwent liver transplantation.
  • Overall survival of entire cohort was 87% (including all levels of followup).
  • Survival after LT was 79% at 28 years.
  • Five-year patient survival after LT was 76%, 91%, 88%, and 92% in the cohorts, indicating better survival more recently.
  • 22% of patients reached age 30 years without transplantation.

The authors note that better outcomes were noted in a long-term study from Japan where there are lower rates of LT needed for biliary atresia. IN Japan 20-year survival with native liver and overall patient survival was 48% and 89%, compared to 26% and 76% in France.

My take: This study indicates that the majority of patients with BA will require liver transplantation and that earlier Kasai operation is associated with a better chance of survival with native liver.  It is likely that data in the U.S. would be more similar to France than Japan based on prior publications.

Related blog posts:

Ecola State Park, OR

Liver Briefs -October 2019

Briefly noted:

M Mouzaki et al. JPGN 2019; 69: 339-43. In a cohort of 228 patients with 17 (8%) who were receiving psychotropic medications, the use of psychotropic medications was associated with increased nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) severity.  These patients were more likely to be receiving metformin (53% vs 18%) and antihypertensive medications (29% vs 8%).

S Honigbaum et al. JPGN 2019; 69: 344-50. Among 20 infants with biliary atresia, tissue had abundantly expressed lysly oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) compared to controls.  LOXL2 is an extracellular matrix enzyme that catalyzed cross-linking of collagen and elastin; LOXL2 likely contributes to fibrosis.