[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading indicator for liver disease. New treatment options are becoming available, and there is a need to characterize the epidemiology and disease burden of HCV. Data for prevalence, viremia, genotype, diagnosis and treatment were obtained through literature searches and expert consensus for 16 countries. For some countries, data from centralized registries were used to estimate diagnosis and treatment rates. Data for the number of liver transplants and the proportion attributable to HCV were obtained from centralized databases. Viremic prevalence estimates varied widely between countries, ranging from 0.3% in Austria, England and Germany to 8.5% in Egypt. The largest viremic populations were in Egypt, with 6 358 000 cases in 2008 and Brazil with 2 106 000 cases in 2007. The age distribution of cases differed between countries. In most countries, prevalence rates were higher among males, reflecting higher rates of injection drug use. Diagnosis, treatment and transplant levels also differed considerably between countries. Reliable estimates characterizing HCV-infected populations are critical for addressing HCV-related morbidity and mortality. There is a need to quantify the burden of chronic HCV infection at the national level.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections is projected to decline while those with advanced liver disease will increase. A modeling approach was used to forecast two treatment scenarios: (i) the impact of increased treatment efficacy while keeping the number of treated patients constant and (ii) increasing efficacy and treatment rate. This analysis suggests that successful diagnosis and treatment of a small proportion of patients can contribute significantly to the reduction of disease burden in the countries studied. The largest reduction in HCV-related morbidity and mortality occurs when increased treatment is combined with higher efficacy therapies, generally in combination with increased diagnosis. With a treatment rate of approximately 10%, this analysis suggests it is possible to achieve elimination of HCV (defined as a >90% decline in total infections by 2030). However, for most countries presented, this will require a 3-5 fold increase in diagnosis and/or treatment. Thus, building the public health and clinical provider capacity for improved diagnosis and treatment will be critical.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The disease burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is expected to increase as the infected population ages. A modelling approach was used to estimate the total number of viremic infections, diagnosed, treated and new infections in 2013. In addition, the model was used to estimate the change in the total number of HCV infections, the disease progression and mortality in 2013-2030. Finally, expert panel consensus was used to capture current treatment practices in each country. Using today's treatment paradigm, the total number of HCV infections is projected to decline or remain flat in all countries studied. However, in the same time period, the number of individuals with late-stage liver disease is projected to increase. This study concluded that the current treatment rate and efficacy are not sufficient to manage the disease burden of HCV. Thus, alternative strategies are required to keep the number of HCV individuals with advanced liver disease and liver-related deaths from increasing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol misuse is a common reason for hospital admission. While there is considerable evidence from other areas that provision of specialised alcohol services can reduce alcohol intake, there is currently less evidence for medical departments in an acute hospital setting. Nottingham hospitals initiated such a service in 2002-3 based around two nurse specialists who provided input to inpatients with alcohol-related physical disease and provided links to community-based services for alcohol misuse. This service assessed 3632 patients over five years and has seen a reduction in hospital admissions, violent incidents against staff and primary care attendances. It is believed that this model of care is an effective means of intervening in people with alcohol-related problems.
Clinical medicine (London, England) 10/2010; 10(5):435-40. · 1.32 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies are commonly detected in chronic hepatitis C (HCV) but their significance remains uncertain. We assessed the prevalence of anti-nuclear (ANA) and anti-smooth muscle (ASM) antibodies within a cohort of 963 treatment-naïve HCV patients. We also assessed for differences between autoantibody-positive and autoantibody-negative patients in demographics, markers of disease activity and response to anti-viral treatment. One hundred and seventy-two patients (17.9%) had at least one autoantibody, of which were 104 (10.8%) ASM, 54 (5.6%) ANA and 14 (1.5%) positive for both. Autoantibody-positive patients were older (43 vs 39 years, P = 0.001) caused by an age-related increase in ANA (but not ASM). There were no differences in gender, alcohol intake, ethnicity or viral genotype. The presence of autoantibodies, and specifically ASM, was associated with an increase in interface hepatitis score amongst men (1.1 vs 0.8, P = 0.005) but no difference in other necroinflammatory measures, liver function tests or immunoglobulins (Ig). There was no difference in initial fibrosis stage or rate of fibrosis progression. Autoantibodies did not affect response to anti-viral treatment. We conclude that autoantibodies are frequent in HCV infection. Anti-nuclear antibodies increase with age, whereas ASM antibodies are associated with interface hepatitis in men. Neither autoantibody carries increased risk of fibrosis progression or failure of therapy.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 06/2009; 16(5):325-31. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence for efficacy of established treatment guidelines for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease is based on multinational randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Strategies for managing HCV, however, require an assessment of the effectiveness of intervention in routine clinical practice. We report the outcomes of combination therapy in a large cohort of HCV-infected individuals in the UK. A total of 347 (113 genotype 1, 234 genotype non-1) patients were treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin according to current guidelines. Forty-two (37.2%) of those with genotype 1 infection and 164 (70.1%) with genotype non-1 infection achieved sustained viral response (SVR). Thirty-nine (11%) patients withdrew from treatment. In addition to viral genotype, factors predictive of a response to therapy were age at start of treatment and disease stage on pretreatment liver biopsy. Multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that the effects of age [odds ratio 0.5; 95% confidence interval (0.31-0.82) per 10-year increment (P = 0.006)] were confined to genotype 1 disease. In order to further inform the management of the individual patient, a multivariate logistic model was used to predict the probability of SVR for subgroups defined by disease stage, genotype and age at commencement of therapy. This model revealed striking differences in predicted response rates between subgroups and provided a strong rationale for early treatment, particularly for those with genotype 1 disease. Our study demonstrates that results comparable with those of RCTs can be achieved in clinical practice, and suggests that prediction of response rates based on probability modelling will provide a valuable adjunct to individual patient management.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 05/2008; 15(4):271-8. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) binds microorganisms via interactions with glycans on the target surface. Bound MBL subsequently activates MBL-associated serine protease proenzymes (MASPs). A role for MBL in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection had been indicated by previous studies examining MBL levels and polymorphisms in relation to disease progression and response to treatment. We undertook this study to investigate a possible relationship between disease progression and functional MBL/MASP-1 complex activity. A functional assay for MBL/MASP-1 complex activity was employed to examine serum samples from patients with chronic HCV infection, non-HCV liver disease and healthy controls. Intrapatient consistency of MBL/MASP-1 complex activity levels was assessed in sequential samples from a subgroup of patients. Median values of MBL/MASP-1 complex activity were higher in sera from patients with liver disease compared with healthy controls. MBL/MASP-1 complex activity levels correlate with severity of fibrosis after adjusting for confounding factors (P = 0.003). MBL/MASP-1 complex activity was associated more significantly with fibrosis than was MBL concentration. The potential role of MBL/MASP-1 complex activity in disease progression is worthy of further study to investigate possible mechanistic links.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Management of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected individuals requires referral to specialist care. To determine whether patients newly diagnosed as anti-HCV positive are appropriately referred for further investigation and management, and if not, to determine why not. We studied patients tested for antibodies to HCV by Nottingham Public Health Laboratory in a 2-year period (2000-2002). The progress of newly diagnosed anti-HCV positive patients into specialist clinics for further management was documented. For patients not referred for specialist care, a questionnaire was sent to the clinician requesting the initial anti-HCV test, to identify reasons for nonreferral. Eleven thousand one hundred and seventy-seven patients were tested for anti-HCV. Two hundred and fifty-six (2.3%) were newly diagnosed as being anti-HCV positive. Two per cent of samples sent from primary care were anti-HCV positive, compared to 18.8, 18.9 and 1.3% sent from prison, drug and alcohol units, and secondary care, respectively. About 64.3% of positive patients diagnosed in primary care were referred to specialist care, compared to 18.4, 42.4 and 62.6% of patients diagnosed in the other three settings. One hundred and twenty-five (49%) newly diagnosed patients were referred appropriately for further management. 68 of these attended clinic, 45 underwent liver biopsy and 26 (10%) began treatment. One hundred and thirty-one patients (51%) were not referred. In 54 cases, there was no evidence that the anti-HCV positive result reached the patient. In 15, referral was considered but rejected, and 20 patients were referred to non-HCV-specialists (their general practitioners or to genito-urinary medicine). Hence less than 50% of newly diagnosed anti-HCV positive patients are referred to an appropriate clinic for further investigation and management. Reasons for this are multifarious and complex, reflecting both systems failure and patient choice. Unless these are understood and addressed, the Department of Health Hepatitis C Strategy (2002) and Action Plan for England (2004) will fail to achieve their intended objectives.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis 05/2006; 13(4):264-71. · 3.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis may be at increased risk of osteoporosis but to what extent this is reflected in an increased fracture risk is unknown. We have enquired about the fracture experience of female primary biliary cirrhosis patients compared with sex- and age-matched controls.
Patients aged 30-75 with primary biliary cirrhosis and age-matched controls were sent a postal questionnaire asking about their fracture history and details of risk factors for osteoporosis.
85 eligible patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and 116 controls responded. Forty-one per cent of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and 30% of controls reported ever having had a fracture odds ratio 1.5 (95% confidence interval: 0.80-2.89). Twenty-eight per cent of primary biliary cirrhosis patients and 23.3% of controls reported a fracture after the age of 30, odds ratio 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.57-2.56), and 14.1% of primary biliary cirrhosis patients and 12.1% of controls reported a low impact fracture of the long bones or of the vertebrae odds ratio 1.0 (95% confidence interval: 0.31-2.68).
No overall increased fracture risk in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis was observed. As a group, unselected patients with primary biliary cirrhosis do not represent a population at particularly high risk of osteoporotic fracture and thus targeting them for osteoporosis screening and treatment is not justified. Further work investigating subgroups of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis at potentially high risk of osteoporosis, such as those with advanced disease or severe cholestasis is required.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biliary brushings are currently the best accepted method to obtain a cytological diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or cholangiocarcinoma. The technique has good specificity but poor sensitivity. Two dedicated pathologists reviewed 137 consecutive biliary brushings from 127 patients between February 1997 and February 2000. The ultimate diagnosis was determined by review of radiology, operative diagnosis and patient outcome. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the original results and the review results were calculated and compared. Additional diagnostic categories 'suspicious' and 'atypical possibly benign' were included on review. After review, the sensitivity improved from 49.4% to 89.0% and the specificity remained 100%. The use of the additional diagnostic category 'suspicious' increased the sensitivity to 90.4%, at the expense of a fall of the specificity to 66.7%. We conclude that review by two dedicated pathologists and additional diagnostic categories can improve the diagnostic accuracy of biliary brushings.