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Effect of pentoxifylline on histological activity and fibrosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients: A one year randomized control trial

Abstract

Background and Objectives

To observe the effect of Pentoxifylline for 1 year on hepatic histological activity and fibrosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Materials and Methods

A single center, open label Randomized Control Trial. Patients were included if they had ultrasonographic evidence of fatty liver and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease activity score (NAS) ≥ 5 on liver histology. A total of 35 patients were selected; 25 of PL (Experimental) group and 10 of L (Control) group. PL group received 400 mg pentoxifylline thrice daily along with lifestyle modification and there was only lifestyle modification for the L group. After one year, NAS and fibrosis was compared in both groups.

Results

In PL group, NAS improved 2.10 ± 1.07; whereas in L group, NAS was 0.90 ± 0.99 (P = 0.006). As per the protocol analysis, NAS ≥ 2 improved in 15/20 (75%) in PL group and in 3/10 (30%) in L group (P = 0.018). In PL group, the individual component of NAS, steatosis improved from 2.30 ± 0.66 to 0.95 ± 0.76 (P = 0.000), lobular inflammation from 1.65 ± 0.59 to 1.05 ± 0.51 (P = 0.002) and hepatocyte ballooning from 1.50 ± 0.51 to 1.30 ± 0.57 (P = 0.258). In L group, steatosis improved from 2.30 ± 0.68 to 1.40 ± 1.08 (P = 0.01), lobular inflammation and hepatocyte ballooning did not improve. The fibrosis score did not improve in any group. In PL group, NAS improved significantly (P = 0.027; OR=22.76, CI=1.43-362.40) independent of weight reduction.

Conclusion

Pentoxifylline for 1 year improves the hepatic histological activity but not fibrosis of NASH patients.

Open access
H1N1 influenza induced acute respiratory distress syndrome rescued by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: A case report

Abstract

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is now a recognized revolutionary technology, which has emerged as a life-saving therapeutic option for patients with potentially reversible severe respiratory failure who fail to respond positively with the conventional ventilation therapy. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with high morbidity and mortality, and ECMO has been proven to increase the survival rates in these patients by improving the gas exchange and thus preventing the further hypoxia and catecholamine induced multi-organ damage. The authors present a case of H1N1 influenza related severe ARDS who was successfully rescued by the early use of ECMO. The authors recommend the early use of ECMO to be incorporated in the management of severe refractory ARDS caused due to a potentially reversible cause.

Open access
Hepatitis C virus exposure rate among health-care workers in rural Lower Egypt governorates

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Studies on hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Egypt supported a strong role for various exposures in the health-care setting. In this study, we attempted to estimate the frequency of HCV exposure among Egyptian health-care workers (HCWs).

Methods

Five hundred and sixty-four (564) HCWs were included in this study. Two hundred and fifty-eight (45.74%) were health-care providers and 306 (54.25%) were non-health-care providers. All HCWs completed both the study questionnaire and provided a blood sample for anti-HCV testing by third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, anti-HCV-positive samples were tested for HCV RNA using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results

The mean age of included HCWs was 33.0 ± 9.8 years; of them, 319 (56.56%) were males and 245 (43.44%) were females. The mean duration of health-care work was 9.3 ± 6.7 years. The frequency of antibody against hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) among included HCWs was 8.7% (n = 49). Old age and prolonged duration of health-care work were significantly associated with anti-HCV seropositivity. Forty (81.63%) of 49 with anti-HCV-positive HCWs had positive hepatitis C viremia. The frequency of HCV RNA positivity increased with age. The frequency of eradicated past infection among nurses (36.85%) was markedly higher than that (6.7%) detected in non-health-care providers.

Conclusion

High rate of HCV infection is detected in Egyptian HCWs in rural Lower Egypt governorates. Health-care providers seem to eradicate HCV infection more frequently than non-health-care providers. National screening and treatment of infected HCWs are recommended.

Open access
Increase in albumin by daclatasvir/asunaprevir therapy is correlated with decrease in aspartate transaminase

Abstract

Objective

To elucidate the mechanism of an increase in the albumin levels by daclatasvir (DCV)/asunaprevir (ASV) therapy, we assessed the factors associated with an increase in the albumin levels.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed 125 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, treated with DCV/ASV from November 2014 to January 2016.

Results

Albumin levels significantly increased from 4.0 ± 0.4 g/dL at baseline to 4.2 ± 0.4 g/dL at 24 weeks after the end of treatment (EOT) (P < 0.0001) in 108 patients with SVR. Patients with SVR were divided into three groups according to their baseline albumin levels: group A, ≥ 4 g/dL; group B, 3.6–3.9 g/dL; and group C, ≤ 3.5 g/dL. The increase in albumin levels from baseline to at 24 weeks after EOT was significantly larger in group C (0.5 ± 0.5 g/dL, P < 0.0001) and group B (0.2 ± 0.4 g/dL, P = 0.0059) than in group A (0.0 ± 0.3 g/dL). Multivariate analysis showed that aspartate transaminase (AST) levels was the only factor associated with ≥ 0.3 g/dL increase in albumin levels in groups B and C (P = 0.0305). An increase in albumin levels was significantly correlated with a decrease in AST levels (r = 0.4729, P = 0.0119).

Conclusion

DCV/ASV therapy resulted in an increase in albumin levels in SVR patients, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in AST levels. It is probable that the reduction of inflammation, but not by reduction of fibrosis, mainly caused an increase in albumin levels.

Open access
Noninvasive clinical predictors of portal hypertensive gastropathy in patients with liver cirrhosis

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Portal hypertensive gastropathy (PHG) is described endoscopically as “mosaic-like appearance” of gastric mucosa with or without the red spots. It can only be diagnosed by upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of platelet count to spleen diameter ratio (PSR) and right liver lobe diameter to albumin ratio (RLAR) in the detection of PHG using upper GI endoscopy as a gold standard in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Material and Methods

This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Hepatogastroenterology, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, Karachi. All consecutive patients with ages 18–65 years who were screened using esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) to exclude esophageal varices were enrolled. At the same time, findings related to PHG were noted. After informed consent, all the patients had blood tests including platelet count and albumin and abdominal ultrasound determining spleen diameter and right liver lobe diameter.

Results

Out of 111 patients, 59 (53.15%) were males with a mean age of 44 ± 12.61 years. Rate of PHG was observed in 84.68% (94/111) cases confirmed by EGD. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy of PSR were 87.23%, 5.88%, 83.67%, 7.69%, and 74.7%, respectively, and those of RLAR were 28.72%, 70.59%, 84.38%, 15.19%, and 35.14%, respectively.

Conclusion

PSR is better predictor of PHG than RLAR but at the expense of relatively lower specificities and NPV likely because of underlying pathophysiology (portal hypertension) which is similar for esophageal varices, PHG, and ascites.

Open access
Polyphenols treatment in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 25–30% of the general population worldwide and this high prevalence is linked with lifestyle and dietetic changes, not only in Western countries, but also in the urban areas of developing countries. Several pharmacological approaches were proposed in the treatment of NAFLD, but the reported results are inconclusive. International guidelines recommended the reduction of dietary fat and fructose, in association with some physical activity. In this context, it was reported that the protective effects of traditional Mediterranean diet, related to the high concentration of antioxidant compounds, particularly of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a heterogeneous class of plant derived compounds, with some proven hepatoprotective effects. Our opinion is that the adherence to traditional Mediterranean diet characterized by the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods in general and of polyphenols in particular, can be considered as a potential new approach in the treatment of NAFLD.

Open access
Effects of a low FODMAP diet and specific carbohydrate diet on symptoms and nutritional adequacy of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: Preliminary results of a single-blinded randomized trial

Abstract

Background and Objectives

IBS is the most common functional disease of the low gastrointestinal tract. Recently, the interest towards a diet approach has increased, for example, a diet with low content of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet and a specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) conducted for 3 months on symptoms and to evaluate the deficiencies of vitamin D and folic acid in patients affected by IBS, matching the Rome IV criteria.

Methods

We evaluated 73 patients divided into 2 groups: one submitted to low FODMAP diet and one to SCD, for 3 months. Patients were assigned to one of the 2 groups randomly and blinded. All the patients filled a visual analogue scale (VAS) to evaluate the severity of symptoms and a diary to evaluate the number of days with symptoms, and this was repeated after 3 months. Final evaluation was made by a blinded investigator.

Results

In the end, the patients with low FODMAP diet had a significant improvement in bloating and distension (P = 0.000); the group with SCD instead had a low but not a significant improvement. One way ANOVA showed comparable severity of symptoms in the 2 groups pre-diet (P = 0.215), but a difference in the same symptoms after 12 days (P = 0.000). Tukey test showed a significant improvement in the low FODMAP diet group and only a trend of improvement in the second group of SCD. The vitamin D mean value in both groups at the time of enrollment was 38 ng/mL; in the end, the mean value in the low FODMAP diet group was 32 ng/mL and in the SCD group was 22 ng/mL, with a statistically significant difference. The folic acid mean value at the time of enrollment was 18 mg/dL; in the end, the mean value in the low FODMAP diet group was 15 mg/dL and in the SCD group was 8 mg/dL, with a statistically significant difference.

Conclusion

Patients affected by IBS seem to have benefitted from a low FODMAP diet but not from an SCD, and a low FODMAP diet doesn’t seem to cause vitamin D and folic acid deficiencies.

Open access
Effects of eplerenone on resistance to antihypertensive medication in patients with primary or secondary hyperaldosteronism

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Resistant hypertension is an important problem; nearly half of diagnosed hypertensives are not controlled to target blood pressure levels, and approximately 90% of strokes occur among patients with resistant hypertension. Primary aldosteronism accounts for approximately 20% of resistant hypertension, but the role of secondary hyperaldosteronism in resistant hypertension is seldom considered. We assessed the effects of eplerenone in patients with hypertension and either primary or secondary hyperaldosteronism.

Methods

Patients with a history of resistant hypertension and a supine plasma aldosterone level ≥ 360 pmol/L were randomized to eplerenone versus placebo in a fully blinded study for one year. A medication intensity score was developed to assess the resistance of hypertension to medication (blood pressure × medication intensity). We assessed the effects of eplerenone on blood pressure and on resistance to concomitant medication.

Results

Final results were available in 37 patients (19 on eplerenone and 18 on placebo). Resistance to medication, as assessed by the intensity of concomitant medication required to maintain blood pressure control, was markedly reduced by eplerenone: medication intensity scores declined by –0.50 ± 1.04 (SD) on placebo versus –2.11 ± 1.45 with eplerenone (P = 0.0001), the Systolic Resistance Score declined by –80.00 ± 122.93 on placebo versus –334.05 ± 21.73 on eplerenone (P = 0.0001), and the Diastolic Resistance Score increased by 1.28 ± 31.65 on placebo and declined by –40.74 ± 57.08 on eplerenone (P = 0.009).

Conclusions

Eplerenone significantly reduced resistance to concomitant antihypertensive medication in both primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism.

Open access