[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Recently, the upper limits of normal (ULN) for alanine-aminotransferase (ALT) has been recommended to be lowered to ≤30 U/l in men and ≤19 U/l in women. AIM: To evaluate the ALT concentrations in a healthy Middle Eastern population with biopsy-proven normal liver tissue. METHODS: ALT values were calculated from 175 consecutive Saudi potential living liver donors who underwent a liver biopsy as part of a stepwise pretransplant workup. RESULTS: The mean age of the 110 potential donors with normal liver histology was 27 ± 6.2 years for men and 38.6 ± 7.1 years for women. The mean body mass index (BMI) levels were 23.0 ± 3.5 kg/m(2) for men and 24.7 ± 3.25 kg/m(2) for women, and the ALT levels were higher in male patients (22.6 ± 9 vs. 16.4 U/l ± 8, p value = 0.003). Multivariate linear regression showed that BMI and sex were independent variables that were positively associated with the levels of ALT (p < 0.0001). Moreover, when we analyzed donors according to the Prati criteria, 63 (36.0 %) of the individuals were classified into this subgroup. The mean ALT concentration was 12.9 U/l ± 4.5 in women and 19.7 U/l ± 6.9 in men, and these values were significantly lower than those obtained from subjects who did not fit the Prati criteria (19.4 U/l ± 1.8, p = 0.04 for women and 29.0 U/l ± 12.1, p = <0.0001 for men). Thus, we calculated healthy ALT values of 33 IU/l for men and 22 IU/l for women. CONCLUSIONS: The ULN for ALT levels in Middle Eastern populations should be lowered, including separate values for males and females. Furthermore, metabolic parameters were shown to have a significant effect on ALT levels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) is universal and tends to be more aggressive. Data on post-transplant HCV genotype 4 treatment is scarce. The aim of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of pegylated interferon alpha-2a (PEG-IFN) in combination with ribavirin in the treatment of recurrent HCV genotype 4 after LT.
Twenty-five patients infected with HCV genotype 4 were treated with PEG-IFN alpha-2a at a dose of 180 μg/week in addition to 800 mg/day of ribavirin (the dose was adjusted within the tolerated range of 400-1,200 mg). Pretreatment liver biopsies were obtained from all patients. Biochemical and virological markers were assessed before, during, and after treatment.
Twenty-two patients (88%) achieved an early virological response (EVR) (12 patients tested negative for HCV-RNA). Fifteen (60%) and 14 patients (56%) achieved an end of treatment virological response (ETVR) and a sustained virological response (SVR), respectively. Five patients had advanced pretreatment liver fibrosis. Pretreatment ALT was elevated in 24 patients (96%). The most common adverse effects were flu-like symptoms and cytopenia. Eighteen patients (72%) required erythropoietin alpha and/or granulocyte-colony stimulating factor as a supportive measure. One patient developed severe rejection complicated by sepsis, renal failure, and death. Other adverse effects included depression, mild rejection, impotence, itching, and vitiligo.
Post-transplant treatment with pegylated interferon alpha-2a and ribavirin achieved SVR in 56% of liver transplant recipients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection. The combination was relatively safe and exhibited a low rate of treatment withdrawal.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the hemodynamics in the immediate post transplant period and compare patients with alcoholic vs viral cirrhosis.
Between 2000-2003, 38 patients were transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis and 28 for postviral cirrhosis. Heart rate (HR), central venous pressure (CVP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), cardiac index (CI), systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI), pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), and pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI) were measured immediately and 24 h post transplantation.
Hyperdynamic circulation persisted at 24 h following transplantation with an elevated CI of 5.4 +/- 1.3 L/(min x m(2)) and 4.9 +/- 1.0 L/(min x m(2)) in the viral and alcoholic groups, respectively, and was associated with a decreased SVRI. Within the first 24 h, there was a significant decrease in HR and increase in MAP; the extent of the change was similar in both groups. The CVP, PCWP, and SVRI increased, and CI decreased in the viral patients, but not the alcoholic patients. Alcoholics showed a lower PVRI (119 +/- 52 dynes/(cm(5) x m(2)) vs 166 +/- 110 dynes/(cm(5) x m(2)), P < 0.05) and PAP (20 +/- 7 mmHg vs 24 +/- 7 mmHg, P < 0.05) compared to the viral group at 24 h.
Hyperdynamic circulation persists in the immediate post-transplant period with a faster improvement in the viral group. Alcoholic patients have a more pronounced pulmonary vasodilatation.
World Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2010; 16(5):608-12. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v16.i5.608 · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver cirrhosis is associated with several cardiovascular abnormalities. Despite an increased baseline cardiac output, cirrhotic patients have a suboptimal ventricular response to stress. This phenomenon is called cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. The pathogenesis of this syndrome is multifactorial and includes diminished beta-adrenergic receptor signal transduction, cardiomyocyte cellular plasma membrane dysfunction, and increased activity or levels of cardiodepressant substances such as cytokines, endogenous cannabinoids, and nitric oxide. Although cirrhotic cardiomyopathy is usually clinically mild or silent, overt heart failure can be precipitated by stresses such as liver transplantation or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt insertion. Moreover, cirrhotic cardiomyopathy may play a role in the pathogenesis of hepatorenal syndrome. Treatment of this condition is mainly supportive. Orthotopic liver transplantation appears to improve or normalize the condition, generally after a period of several months.