385 research outputs found

    Oesophageal varices predict complications in compensated advanced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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    Background & Aims: We aimed to evaluate the impact of oesophageal varices (OV) and their evolution on the risk of complications of compensated advanced chronic liver disease (cACLD) caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We also assessed the accuracy of non-invasive scores for predicting the development of complications and for identifying patients at low risk of high-risk OV. Methods: We performed a retrospective assessment of 629 patients with NAFLD-related cACLD who had baseline and follow-up oesophagogastroduodenoscopy and clinical follow-up to record decompensation, portal vein thrombosis (PVT), and hepatocellular carcinoma. Results: Small and large OV were observed at baseline in 30 and 15.9% of patients, respectively. The 4-year incidence of OV from absence at baseline, and that of progression from small to large OV were 16.3 and 22.4%, respectively. Diabetes and a ≥5% increase in BMI were associated with OV progression. Multivariate Cox regression revealed that small (hazard ratio [HR] 2.24, 95% CI 1.47–3.41) and large (HR 3.86, 95% CI 2.34–6.39) OV were independently associated with decompensation. When considering OV status and trajectories, small (HR 2.65, 95% CI 1.39–5.05) and large (HR 4.90, 95% CI 2.49–9.63) OV at baseline and/or follow-up were independently associated with decompensation compared with the absence of OV at baseline and/or follow-up. The presence of either small (HR 2.8, 95% CI 1.16–6.74) or large (HR 5.29, 95% CI 1.96–14.2) OV was also independently associated with incident PVT. Conclusion: In NAFLD-related cACLD, the presence, severity, and evolution of OV stratify the risk of developing decompensation and PVT. Impact and implications: Portal hypertension is the main driver of liver decompensation in chronic liver diseases, and its non-invasive markers can help risk prediction. The presence, severity, and progression of oesophageal varices stratify the risk of complications of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Easily obtainable laboratory values and liver stiffness measurement can identify patients at low risk for whom endoscopy may be withheld, and can also stratify the risk of liver-related complications

    The Italian data on SARS-CoV-2 infection in transplanted patients support an organ specific immune response in liver recipients

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    Introduction: The study of immune response to SARSCoV-2 infection in different solid organ transplant settings represents an opportunity for clarifying the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and the immune system. In our nationwide registry study from Italy, we specifically evaluated, during the first wave pandemic, i.e., in non-vaccinated patients, COVID-19 prevalence of infection, mortality, and lethality in liver transplant recipients (LTRs), using non-liver solid transplant recipients (NL-SOTRs) and the Italian general population (GP) as comparators. Methods: Case collection started from February 21 to June 22, 2020, using the data from the National Institute of Health and National Transplant Center, whereas the data analysis was performed on September 30, 2020.To compare the sex- and age-adjusted distribution of infection, mortality, and lethality in LTRs, NL-SOTRs, and Italian GP we applied an indirect standardization method to determine the standardized rate. Results: Among the 43,983 Italian SOTRs with a functioning graft, LTRs accounted for 14,168 patients, of whom 89 were SARS-CoV-2 infected. In the 29,815 NL-SOTRs, 361 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were observed. The geographical distribution of the disease was highly variable across the different Italian regions. The standardized rate of infection, mortality, and lethality rates in LTRs resulted lower compared to NL-SOTRs [1.02 (95%CI 0.81-1.23) vs. 2.01 (95%CI 1.8-2.2); 1.0 (95%CI 0.5-1.5) vs. 4.5 (95%CI 3.6-5.3); 1.6 (95%CI 0.7-2.4) vs. 2.8 (95%CI 2.2-3.3), respectively] and comparable to the Italian GP. Discussion: According to the most recent studies on SOTRs and SARS-CoV-2 infection, our data strongly suggest that, in contrast to what was observed in NL-SOTRs receiving a similar immunosuppressive therapy, LTRs have the same risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, mortality, and lethality observed in the general population. These results suggest an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in LTRS that is different from NL-SOTRs, probably related to the ability of the grafted liver to induce immunotolerance

    A global research priority agenda to advance public health responses to fatty liver disease

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    Background & aims An estimated 38% of adults worldwide have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). From individual impacts to widespread public health and economic consequences, the implications of this disease are profound. This study aimed to develop an aligned, prioritised fatty liver disease research agenda for the global health community. Methods Nine co-chairs drafted initial research priorities, subsequently reviewed by 40 core authors and debated during a three-day in-person meeting. Following a Delphi methodology, over two rounds, a large panel (R1 n = 344, R2 n = 288) reviewed the priorities, via Qualtrics XM, indicating agreement using a four-point Likert-scale and providing written feedback. The core group revised the draft priorities between rounds. In R2, panellists also ranked the priorities within six domains: epidemiology, models of care, treatment and care, education and awareness, patient and community perspectives, and leadership and public health policy. Results The consensus-built fatty liver disease research agenda encompasses 28 priorities. The mean percentage of ‘agree’ responses increased from 78.3 in R1 to 81.1 in R2. Five priorities received unanimous combined agreement (‘agree’ + ‘somewhat agree’); the remaining 23 priorities had >90% combined agreement. While all but one of the priorities exhibited at least a super-majority of agreement (>66.7% ‘agree’), 13 priorities had 90% combined agreement. Conclusions Adopting this multidisciplinary consensus-built research priorities agenda can deliver a step-change in addressing fatty liver disease, mitigating against its individual and societal harms and proactively altering its natural history through prevention, identification, treatment, and care. This agenda should catalyse the global health community’s efforts to advance and accelerate responses to this widespread and fast-growing public health threat. Impact and implications An estimated 38% of adults and 13% of children and adolescents worldwide have fatty liver disease, making it the most prevalent liver disease in history. Despite substantial scientific progress in the past three decades, the burden continues to grow, with an urgent need to advance understanding of how to prevent, manage, and treat the disease. Through a global consensus process, a multidisciplinary group agreed on 28 research priorities covering a broad range of themes, from disease burden, treatment, and health system responses to awareness and policy. The findings have relevance for clinical and non-clinical researchers as well as funders working on fatty liver disease and non-communicable diseases more broadly, setting out a prioritised, ranked research agenda for turning the tide on this fast-growing public health threat

    Potential feasibility of atezolizumab-bevacizumab therapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors

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    Background: The combination of atezolizumab-bevacizumab has been proven to be superior to sorafenib for the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma not amenable to locoregional treatments, becoming the standard of care of systemic therapy. Aim: This study aimed at assessing real-world feasibility of atezolizumab-bevacizumab in patients treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors. Methods: Among 1447 patients treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors from January 2010 to December 2020, we assessed the percentage of those potentially eligible to atezolizumab-bevacizumab (according to IMbrave-150 trial criteria), and the overall survival of eligible and non-eligible patients. Results: 422 (29%) patients were qualified for atezolizumab-bevacizumab therapy. The main exclusion causes were Child-Pugh class and Performance Status. Adopting the more permissive inclusion criteria of SHARP trial, 535 patients became eligible. The median overall survival of tyrosine-kinase inhibitors patients was 14.9 months, longer in eligible patients than in their counterpart due to better baseline liver function and oncological features. Conclusion: Real-world data indicate that less than one-third of hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors are potentially eligible to atezolizumab-bevacizumab according to the registration trial criteria. These patients have a longer survival than the non-eligible ones. If the selection criteria of atezolizumab-bevacizumab trial are maintained in clinical practice, tyrosine-kinase inhibitors will remain the most used systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma patients

    Characteristics and survival of patients with primary biliary cholangitis and hepatocellular carcinoma

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    Background: Comprehensive and contemporary data pertaining large populations of patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are missing. Aim: To describe main characteristics and outcome of PBC patients with HCC diagnosed in the new millennium. Methods: Analysing the Italian Liver Cancer registry we identified 80 PBC patients with HCC diagnosed after the year 2000, and described their clinical characteristics, access to treatment and survival. Results: Median age of patients was 71 years and 50.0% were males. Cirrhosis was present in 86.3% of patients, being well-compensated in 58.0%. Median HCC diameter was smaller in patients under surveillance (2.6 vs 4.0 cm, P = 0.007). Curative treatment, feasible in 50.0% of patients, was associated with improved survival compared to palliative and supportive care (42 vs 33 vs 6 months, P<0.0001). Surveillance was associated with a non-significant improved survival (36 vs 23 months), likely due to similar rate of curative treatment in patients under (51.4%) and outside surveillance (42.6%). Conclusions: PBC patients with HCC are often elderly males with well-preserved liver function. Feasibility of curative treatment is high and associated with improved prognosis. Description of these patients may help focus surveillance to identify earlier tumours, increase their curability, and improve prognosis

    Circulating miR-320b and miR-483-5p levels are associated with COVID-19 in-hospital mortality

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    The stratification of mortality risk in COVID-19 patients remains extremely challenging for physicians, especially in older patients. Innovative minimally invasive molecular biomarkers are needed to improve the prediction of mortality risk and better customize patient management. In this study, aimed at identifying circulating miRNAs associated with the risk of COVID-19 in-hospital mortality, we analyzed serum samples of 12 COVID-19 patients by small RNA-seq and validated the findings in an independent cohort of 116 COVID-19 patients by qRT-PCR. Thirty-four significantly deregulated miRNAs, 25 downregulated and 9 upregulated in deceased COVID-19 patients compared to survivors, were identified in the discovery cohort. Based on the highest fold-changes and on the highest expression levels, 5 of these 34 miRNAs were selected for the analysis in the validation cohort. MiR-320b and miR-483-5p were confirmed to be significantly hyper-expressed in deceased patients compared to survived ones. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models, adjusted for relevant confounders, confirmed that patients with the 20% highest miR-320b and miR-483-5p serum levels had three-fold increased risk to die during in-hospital stay for COVID-19. In conclusion, high levels of circulating miR-320b and miR-483-5p can be useful as minimally invasive biomarkers to stratify older COVID-19 patients with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality

    Replacement and Immunomodulatory Activities of 20% Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Treatment: A Single-Center Retrospective Study in Autoimmune Myositis and CVID Patients

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    Background: Immunoglobulin (Ig) replacement therapy represents a life-saving treatment in primary antibody deficiencies. The introduction of subcutaneous Ig (SCIg) administration brings a major improvement in quality of life for patients, compared to the traditional intravenous administration. In recent years, an additional role has been proposed for Ig therapy for various inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases. Consequently, the use of SCIg has expanded from immunodeficiencies to immune-mediated diseases, such as polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM). Given the rarity of these conditions, it is still difficult to evaluate the real impact of SCIg treatment on PM and DM, and additional data are constantly required on this topic, particularly for long-term treatments in real-life settings. Aim: This study aimed to increase the knowledge about the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of SCIg treatment for myositis. To this aim, a long-term evaluation of the effectiveness of 20% human SCIg treatment (20% SCIg, Hizentra®, CSL Behring) was carried out in patients with PM/DM in care at our Center. In addition, an evaluation of the 20% SCIg therapy in CVID patients was provided. This analysis, beside adding knowledge about the use of SCIg therapy in this real-life setting, was intended as a term of comparison, regarding the safety profile. Results: Results support the beneficial effect and tolerability of long-term 20% SCIg therapy in PM/DM patients, reporting a significant improvement in creatine kinase levels, muscle strength, skin conditions, dysphagia, disease activity (MITAX score) and disability (HAQ-DI score). None of the patients reported systemic reactions. The duration of the reported local reactions was a few hours in 80% of the patients, and all resolved spontaneously. CVID patients reported an improvement in all the considered effectiveness parameters at the end of 20% SCIg therapy. The frequency of the adverse events reported by PM/DM patients was not different from what reported in CVID patients, where the use of SCIg therapy is more consolidated Conclusions: This study suggests that 20% SCIg treatment represents a viable and safe treatment for PM/DM patients and a valid therapeutic alternative to IVIg, with important advantages for patients’ quality of life
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