M Margulies

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (2)15.09 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic hepatitis C infection often experience fatigue. In many clinical situations, an association between fatigue and altered serum cytokine levels has been found. Altered cytokine levels in patients with hepatitis C have not shown a correlation with the degree of serum transaminase elevation or pathological change on liver biopsy. The aim of our study was to examine whether there was an association between abnormal serum cytokine levels and fatigue in patients with compensated chronic hepatitis C. Patients referred to a tertiary care hepatology clinic who were hepatitis C antibody positive and who had elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were eligible for entry into the study. A control group was also included. Subjects in both groups who had characteristics other than hepatitis C that were known to alter cytokine values and/or cause fatigue were excluded. Patients completed a validated questionnaire to determine their fatigue severity score (FSS). Bioassays were used to measure interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels in early morning serum samples taken from patients and controls. Altered cytokine values were defined as those more than two standard deviations above the mean control value. Data was analysed using SPSS, version 8.01. Of the 78 patients with chronic hepatitis C who participated in the study, 19 (24%), 24 (30%) and 45 (56%) had elevated levels of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, respectively, compared with only two (6%) of the control group who had elevation of any of the three cytokines. No correlation was found between the FSS and serum cytokine levels, when analysed singly or in combination, in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Hence, alteration in early morning serum levels of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection and elevated ALT levels bear no correlation with the symptom of fatigue.
    Journal of Viral Hepatitis 12/2000; 7(6):397-402. · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis of decompensated cirrhosis resulting from chronic hepatitis B is poor, and the benefits of treatment with interferon are outweighed by serious side effects and by the risk of fatal exacerbation of disease activity. Lamivudine rapidly reduces hepatitis B virus (HBV)-DNA in serum to undetectable levels. We have treated 35 patients with chronic hepatitis B and decompensated cirrhosis with lamivudine 100 mg or 150 mg orally once daily. Pretreatment, all were positive for HBV-DNA in serum. Ten had Child-Pugh class B and 25 had Child-Pugh class C liver disease. Seven patients underwent liver transplantation within 6 months of treatment initiation, 5 patients died within 6 months, and 23 patients were treated for at least 6 months (mean = 19 months). In a majority of these 23 cases, there was a slow but marked improvement in liver function, which was most apparent after 9 months of treatment, with a decrease in serum bilirubin from 67 +/- 13 to 30 +/- 4 micromol/L (P <.05, baseline vs. 9 months), an increase in serum albumin from 27 +/- 1 to 34 +/- 1g/L (P <.05), and a decrease in Child-Pugh score from 10.3 +/- 0.4 to 7.5 +/- 0.5 (P <.05). Three patients developed resistance to lamivudine because of a mutation in the YMDD motif, but liver function did not deteriorate. We conclude that inhibition of viral replication with lamivudine results in a significant improvement of liver function in patients with decompensated HBV cirrhosis, but the long-term benefits remain uncertain.
    Hepatology 01/2000; 31(1):207-10. · 12.00 Impact Factor

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301 Citations
98 Views
15.09 Total Impact Points

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  • 2000
    • University of Toronto
      • Division of Gastroenterology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada