258 research outputs found

    Hyposplenism as a cause of pneumococcal meningoencephalitis in an adult patient with coeliac disease

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    Introduction: Coeliac disease can be associated with hyposplenism and splenic atrophy, which may increase the patient's risk for fatal infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or Pneumococcus. It is general opinion that many more patients with coeliac disease have died from hyposplenism-related infections than those reported in literature. Case report: A 62-year-old woman with recently diagnosed coeliac disease was hospitalized with high fever, disorientation, and nuchal rigidity. Cerebral computed tomography was negative. Laboratory tests showed an elevated leukocyte count and very high levels of C reactive protein. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contained an increased number of mononuclear cells associated with a low glucose level and high protein concentrations. The CSF culture was positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae. Neurological conditions rapidly deteriorated with the onset of coma, and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed initial signs of encephalitis extending above and below the tentorium. Abdominal ultrasonography disclosed splenic hypotrophy that raised the suspicion of hyposplenism. The diagnosis of hyposplenism was confirmed by demonstration of Howell-Jolly bodies in a peripheral blood smear. Discussion: This is the first reported case of pneumococcal meningoencephalitis caused by splenic hypofunction in a patient with coeliac disease. When coeliac disease is diagnosed with a marked delay in an elderly patient, spleen function should always be assessed. If impaired, the patient should undergo vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to prevent pneumococcal infections

    Specific issues concerning the management of patients on the waiting list and after liver transplantation

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    The present document is a second contribution collecting the recommendations of an expert panel of transplant hepatologists appointed by the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver (AISF) concerning the management of certain aspects of liver transplantation, including: the issue of prompt referral; the management of difficult candidates; malnutrition; living related liver transplants; hepatocellular carcinoma; and the role of direct acting antiviral agents before and after transplantation. The statements on each topic were approved by participants at the AISF Transplant Hepatology Expert Meeting organized by the Permanent Liver Transplant Commission in Mondello on 12-13 May 2017. They are graded according to the GRADE grading system

    Liver Injury with Nintedanib: A Pharmacovigilance-Pharmacokinetic Appraisal

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    Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) with nintedanib has emerged as an adverse event of special interest in premarketing clinical trials. We characterized DILI with nintedanib in the real world and explored the underlying pharmacological basis. First, we assessed serious hepatic events reported to the Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System by combining the disproportionality approach [reporting odds ratio (ROR) with 95% confidence interval (CI)] with individual case assessment. Demographic and clinical features were inspected (seriousness, onset, discontinuation, dechallenge/rechallenge, concomitant drugs) to implement an ad hoc causality assessment scoring system. Second, we appraised physiochemical and pharmacokinetic parameters possibly predictive of DILI occurrence. Significant disproportionality was found for nintedanib as compared to pirfenidone (N = 91; ROR = 4.77; 95% CI = 3.15-7.39). Asian population, low body weight (59 kg), and rapid DILI onset (13.5 days) emerged as clinical features. Hospitalization and discontinuation were found in a significant proportion of cases (32% and 36%, respectively). In 24% of the cases, at least two potentially hepatotoxic drugs (statins, proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics) were recorded. Causality was at least possible in 92.3% of the cases. High lipophilicity and predicted in silico inhibition of liver transporters emerged as potential pharmacokinetic features supporting the biological plausibility. Although causality cannot be demonstrated, clinicians should consider early monitoring and medication review on a case-by-case basis

    PREDICT identifies precipitating events associated with the clinical course of acutely decompensated cirrhosis

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    Background & Aims: Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis may present without acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) (AD No ACLF), or with ACLF (AD-ACLF), defined by organ failure(s). Herein, we aimed to analyze and characterize the precipitants leading to both of these AD phenotypes. Methods: The multicenter, prospective, observational PREDICT study (NCT03056612) included 1,273 non-electively hospitalized patients with AD (No ACLF = 1,071; ACLF = 202). Medical history, clinical data and laboratory data were collected at enrolment and during 90-day follow-up, with particular attention given to the following characteristics of precipitants: induction of organ dysfunction or failure, systemic inflammation, chronology, in tensity, and relationship to outcome. Results: Among various clinical events, 4 distinct events were precipitants consistently related to AD: proven bacterial in fections, severe alcoholic hepatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding with shock and toxic encephalopathy. Among patients with precipitants in the AD-No ACLF cohort and the AD-ACLF cohort (38% and 71%, respectively), almost all (96% and 97%, respec tively) showed proven bacterial infection and severe alcoholic hepatitis, either alone or in combination with other events. Survival was similar in patients with proven bacterial infections or severe alcoholic hepatitis in both AD phenotypes. The number of precipitants was associated with significantly increased 90- day mortality and was paralleled by increasing levels of surro gates for systemic inflammation. Importantly, adequate first-line antibiotic treatment of proven bacterial infections was associated with a lower ACLF development rate and lower 90-day mortality. Conclusions: This study identified precipitants that are signifi cantly associated with a distinct clinical course and prognosis in patients with AD. Specific preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting these events may improve outcomes in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Lay summary: Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis is char acterized by a rapid deterioration in patient health. Herein, we aimed to analyze the precipitating events that cause AD in pa tients with cirrhosis. Proven bacterial infections and severe alcoholic hepatitis, either alone or in combination, accounted for almost all (96-97%) cases of AD and acute-on-chronic liver fail ure. Whilst the type of precipitant was not associated with mortality, the number of precipitant(s) was. This study identified precipitants that are significantly associated with a distinct clinical course and prognosis of patients with AD. Specific pre ventive and therapeutic strategies targeting these events may improve patient outcomes

    Bacterial infections in patients with liver cirrhosis

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    Bacterial infections represent a frequent complication of liver cirrhosis carrying a significantly greater risk of morbidity and mortality as compared to that observed in non-cirrhotic patients. Such unfavourable prognosis is related to the systemic complications (liver and renal failure, shock, coagulopathy, multiple organ failure) induced by a series of pro-inflammatory and immunological systems which are activated by bacteria and their pathogenetic products.The epidemiology of bacterial infections in cirrhosis has changed in the last years with a marked increase of Gram+ infections and the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria.The severity of liver disease represents the major clinical factor predisposing to bacterial infections, which are asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic at presentation in almost half of the cases. Aim of this review is to summarise the clinical and therapeutic aspects of bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients. The most common sites of infection are the urinary tract, ascites, blood, lungs and soft tissues.Beside antibiotics, it has been proposed the administration of human albumin to prevent the development of renal failure in patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and, more recently, the use of hydrocortisone to treat cirrhotic patients with septic shock

    Albumin in decompensated cirrhosis: new concepts and perspectives

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    The pathophysiological background of decompensated cirrhosis is characterised by a systemic proinflammatory and pro-oxidant milieu that plays a major role in the development of multiorgan dysfunction. Such abnormality is mainly due to the systemic spread of bacteria and/or bacterial products from the gut and danger-associated molecular patterns from the diseased liver triggering the release of proinflammatory mediators by activating immune cells. The exacerbation of these processes underlies the development of acute-on-chronic liver failure. A further mechanism promoting multiorgan dysfunction and failure likely consists with a mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation dysfunction responsible for systemic cellular energy crisis. The systemic proinflammatory and pro-oxidant state of patients with decompensated cirrhosis is also responsible for structural and functional changes in the albumin molecule, which spoil its pleiotropic non-oncotic properties such as antioxidant, scavenging, immune-modulating and endothelium protective functions. The knowledge of these abnormalities provides novel targets for mechanistic treatments. In this respect, the oncotic and non-oncotic properties of albumin make it a potential multitarget agent. This would expand the well-established indications to the use of albumin in decompensated cirrhosis, which mainly aim at improving effective volaemia or preventing its deterioration. Evidence has been recently provided that long-term albumin administration to patients with cirrhosis and ascites improves survival, prevents complications, eases the management of ascites and reduces hospitalisations. However, variant results indicate that further investigations are needed, aiming at confirming the beneficial effects of albumin, clarifying its optimal dosage and administration schedule and identify patients who would benefit most from long-term albumin administration

    The use of albumin in the complications of cirrhosis: evidence and future perspectives

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    The therapeutic use of albumin in cirrhosis dates back to the 50s, when hypoalbuminemia was thought to play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of ascites. Today, while its efficacy in the treatment of ascites is still under investigation, it has been proved that albumin is able to improve patient outcome and survival in some specific complications of cirrhosis, such as the prevention of post-paracentesis circulatory dysfunction and the treatment of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatorenal syndrome. Beside its oncotic power, albumin carries other biological properties, the so called non-oncotic properties, including transportation and detoxification of several molecules, free radical scavenging, modulation of vascular permeability, activity on the immune system and on the haemostatic balance. Some experimental evidences indicate that not only albumin concentration but also its function is reduced in patients with cirrhosis. However, the clinical implications of such functional abnormalities is still unclear. We here present the available evidence on the use of albumin in cirrhosis and future perspectives

    An Innovative Hyperbaric Hypothermic Machine Perfusion Protects the Liver from Experimental Preservation Injury

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    Purpose. Hypothermic machine perfusion systems seem more effective than the current static storage to prevent cold ischemic liver injury. Thus, we test an innovative hyperbaric hypothermic machine perfusion (HHMP), which combines hyperbaric oxygenation of the preservation solution and continuous perfusion of the graft. Methods. Rat livers were preserved with Celsior solution according to 4 different modalities: normobaric static preservation; hyperbaric static preservation at 2 atmosphere absolute (ATA); normobaric dynamic preservation, with continuous perfusion; hyperbaric dynamic preservation, with continuous perfusion at 2 ATA. After 24 h cold preservation, we assessed different parameters. Results. Compared to baseline, livers preserved with the current static storage showed severe ultrastructural damage, glycogen depletion and an increased oxidative stress. Normobaric perfused livers showed improved hepatocyte ultrastructure and ameliorated glycogen stores, but they still suffered a significant oxidative damage. The addition of hyperbaric oxygen produces an extra benefit by improving oxidative injury and by inducing endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) gene expression. Conclusions. Preservation by means of the present innovative HHMP reduced the liver injury occurring after the current static cold storage by lowering glycogen depletion and oxidative damage. Interestingly, only the use of hyperbaric oxygen was associated to a blunted oxidative stress and an increased eNOS gene expression

    Oxycodone/Acetaminophen: The Tailoring Combination Treatment for Specific Clinical Profile of Opioid Well-Responsive Cancer Pain

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    Background: International guidelines recommend moderate-to-severe cancer pain to be treated with strong opioids. However, pain management remains an unsolved matter, at least in the demanding oncology and palliative care setting. Although cancer pain consists of multiple components, which interact in complex ways where combination therapy can better intercept multiple pain characteristics, few studies have used a non-opioid/opioid association to exploit possible synergistic actions. Even the efforts of a recent approach emphasizing appropriate pain assessment and accurate classification to obtain personalized pain management have not produced a satisfactory analgesic strategy. Objective: This analysis was intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the immediate release fixed combination of oxycodone/acetaminophen (OxyIR/Par) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe intensity background pain used alone or in combination with other strong opioids in cancer patients with breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP). This is a secondary analysis of a wider observational, prospective, multicenter study [Italian Oncologic Pain multiSetting Multicentric Survey (IOPS-MS)] performed on 179 patients treated with opioids for cancer pain who received the fixed combination of oxycodone/acetaminophen (OxyIR/Par) for the treatment of background pain (BGP). Results: Cancer patients with breakthrough cancer pain and controlled BGP (Background Pain) were classified according to the presence of analgesic therapy with tablets of fixed combination OxyIR/Par alone (group A, n=120) or tablets of fixed combination OxyIR/Par combined with other strong opioids (group B, n=59). Clinical features of group A were different to group B: higher mean Karnofsky Performance Status Index 70.3% (95% CI=67.2-73.5; median=70, CI=60-80) vs 58.3 (95% CI=53.4-63.2; median=50, CI=45-70) (P<0.001), and mainly group A patients were treated in an ambulatory setting (55.0% group A vs 33.9% group B) (p<0.001). Both groups had managed BGP with similar mean dosages (group A: 12.0, CI=10.5-13.4; group B: 13.1, CI=11.0-15.1) and frequencies of OxyIR/Par alone for group A and in association to other opioids for group B, but Breakthrough cancer Pain (BTcP) exhibited different characteristics in the two groups, showing a lower mean intensity numerical rating scale (NRS) of 7.5 (95% CI=7.2-7.7; median=7, CI=7-8 group A) vs 7.9 (95% CI=7.6, 8.2; median= 8, CI=7-9 group B) (P=0.04) and a higher percentage of patients had a faster onset, defined as the maximum intensity reached in less than 10 minutes, 81.7% (N=98) in group A vs 59.3% (n=35) in group B (P=0.002). Conclusion: This is the first analysis about the efficacy of an immediate-release fixed combination of OxyIR/Par in the real world for moderate-to-severe background cancer pain and breakthrough cancer pain. The oral fixed combination OxyIR/Par provided an adequate level of analgesia for moderate-severe background cancer pain, in a different cohort of cancer patients with different performance status, both in ambulatory and palliative settings. The low dosage of fixed combination OxyIR/Par was effective alone or in association with other opioids
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