European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Online ISSN: 0954-691X
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Article
Health is a complex and multi-dimensional entity and is neither easily determined nor easily conveyed to others. Publications have often combined various variables of disease activity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), used the variables interchangeably or utilized summation indices to compare health assessment. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between measurements of disease activity and HRQoL. design Cross-sectional evaluation of disease activity and HRQoL. Two hundred and eleven consecutive patients with ulcerative colitis. The catchment area of Linköping University Hospital. HRQoL was measured using two questionnaires, the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) and the Rating Form of IBD Patient Concerns (RFIPC). Patients were also asked if they were 'feeling fit and well', as a measurement of general health perception. Disease activity was measured by means of symptom cards, laboratory tests and sigmoidoscopy. The correlations (Spearman's r (r5)) between variables of disease activity and HRQoL were low. 'Feeling fit and well' was best correlated to worries and concerns (the RFIPC, rs 0.32, P < 0.05), while there was a decreasing association with subjective functional status (the SIP, rs 0.31, P < 0.05), symptoms (stools per day, rs 0.15, not significant) and biological variables (endoscopy score, rs 0.04, not significant). The correlations between traditional measurements of disease activity and various measures of HRQoL are low. We therefore propose a system whereby the process is conceptualized using a 'network strategy', ordering the measurements of disease activity and HRQoL into five dimensions: biological variables, symptoms, functional status, worries and concerns, and health perceptions. We feel that this method of interpretation more accurately reflects the overall health of a group of patients with IBD than more traditional summation indices.
 
Baseline characteristics before entecavir 0.5 mg daily
Patient characteristics at the time of increase in the entecavir dose to 1.0 mg daily
Article
Aim: Data from registration trials with highly selective patients have shown that hepatitis B envelope antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients with chronic hepatitis B respond well to entecavir (ETV) 0.5 mg daily, with an HBeAg seroconversion rate of 21% at 12 months. However, there are varying data on the treatment outcomes of ETV 0.5 mg daily in routine clinical settings, with seroconversion rates at 12 months ranging from 8 to 48% in studies limited to 44-90 patients from centers in Asia, Europe, and South America. Materials and methods: In the present study, we examined long-term treatment efficacy and tolerability in 136 consecutive treatment-naive HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B patients treated between January 2005 and January 2011 with ETV 0.5 mg daily at community clinics and tertiary centers in the USA. The primary study end point was HBeAg seroconversion. Results: Sixty-one percent of HBeAg-positive patients were men, mean age 39 ± 12 years, median hepatitis B virus DNA 7.48 (3.7-9.8) log10 IU/ml, median alanine aminotransferase 67 (14-1077) U/l, and median treatment duration 18 (6-60) months. At months 12, 24, and 36, complete viral suppression rates were 41, 66, and 85% and HBeAg seroconversion rates were 4.8, 20, and 30%, respectively. No patients experienced adverse events or developed genotypic resistance to ETV. Conclusion: In clinical settings, ETV is highly tolerable and potent at suppressing hepatitis B viremia; however, the rates of HBeAg seroconversion appear to be much lower than those reported, highlighting the importance of appropriate counseling and planning for long-term therapy.
 
Size of the polypoid lesions in relation to the rate of polypectomies 
UICC stages in 575 colorectal carcinomas primarily detected at screening colonoscopy 
Complications 
Article
The efficacy of screening colonoscopy in general use remains to be determined. Here we report data over a 39-month study period collected in a nationwide online registry. Data from consecutive screening colonoscopies performed on asymptomatic patients in the practices of 280 participating gastroenterologists (age 55-99 years) were collected in an online registry. The number and histology of colorectal polyps and carcinomas, complication rates of colonoscopy and polypectomy were registered. Advanced adenoma was defined as an adenoma of >or= 10 mm in diameter, villous or tubulovillous in histology, or presence of high-grade dysplasia. A total of 269 144 colonoscopies (male 44%) were evaluated. Tubular, villous/tubulovillous adenomas and invasive cancers were found in 15.6, 3.7, and 0.8%, respectively. Advanced adenomas amounted to 7.1%. In 95% of polyps greater than 5mm and less than 30 mm immediate polypectomy was performed. In 399 of the 575 carcinomas with complete tumor node metastasis stages, which were detected during colonoscopy, early stages dominated (UICC stages I and II in 43 and 27%, respectively). Complication rate was low and no fatalities were observed: cardiopulmonary complication in 0.10% of the colonoscopies, bleeding in 0.8% of polypectomies most of which were managed endoscopically (surgery in 0.03% of polypectomies). Perforation occurred in 0.02% of the colonoscopies and 0.09% of polypectomies. Colonic neoplasias are detected in about 20% of patients most of which are immediately removed by polypectomy at a low risk. Polypectomy of adenomas and low UICC stages in cancer patients during screening colonoscopy may be tools for fighting colorectal cancer mortality.
 
Article
Hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of nonA, nonB hepatitis worldwide. A high prevalence of immunological abnormalities has been shown to occur in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The aim of this study was to assess the development of sicca syndrome in a cohort of patients infected with a single strain of hepatitis C virus, namely genotype 1b, and correlate this with viral persistence and human leukocyte antigen type of the patients. Ninety-five patients infected with the single strain hepatitis C virus were used in this study, 32 of whom were polymerase chain reaction-negative and 63 polymerase chain reaction-positive. Patient details were reviewed for symptoms consistent with sicca syndrome. Human leukocyte antigen class I (A, B and C) and class II (DRB and DQB1) typing was performed on all patients. Auto-antibodies were also measured. DQB1*02 was highly significantly associated with viral persistence (P<0.0001). Nineteen of 21 patients with sicca syndrome were hepatitis C virus-polymerase chain reaction-positive demonstrating a strong association with viral persistence and the development of the syndrome. Human leukocyte antigen DQB1*02 was significantly associated with the development of sicca syndrome, P=0.02. The development of autoimmune disease in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection depends on the interaction of multiple factors. This study suggests that important factors in this process are viral persistence and human leukocyte antigen type of the patients.
 
Article
To investigate a possible dose-effect relationship with two dosages of oral slow-release mesalazine in patients with quiescent ulcerative colitis. One hundred and sixty-nine patients with ulcerative colitis in remission were treated with either 1.5 or 3.0 g/day mesalazine for 1 year or until relapse into active colitis. Fewer of the 3.0 g dose group relapsed than of the 1.5 g dose group (33 compared with 46%). This difference failed to reach statistical significance (P = 0.057). A significant relationship between age and relapse rate was established. No dose-related adverse events were found. Three serious drug-related adverse events were, however, reported. All of the serious adverse reactions resolved after the medication was discontinued. There is a trend for high doses of oral mesalazine to be more effective in prevention of relapse of ulcerative colitis. These higher doses are not associated with a higher incidence of adverse reactions.
 
Article
Propofol is increasingly being used in sedated colonoscopy. This paper assesses the safety and efficacy of nonanesthesiologist-administered propofol in a large series of colonoscopies. A prospective registry of consecutive American Society of Anesthetics (ASA) class I and II outpatients undergoing colonoscopy was carried out. Propofol, administered by a nurse under an endoscopist's supervision, was the sole sedative agent used. Of the 1000 patients (563 women/437 men, mean age 57, range 8-89 years) included in the study, 57.4% showed ASA I and 42.6% ASA II characteristics. The cecal intubation rate was 96.9%. 48.2% of the procedures were for therapeutic purposes. The mean propofol dose was 177 mg (range 50-590 mg). Doses correlated inversely with patient age (r=-0.38; P<0.001) and were lower in ASA II patients (P<0.001) and in diagnostic (rather than therapeutic) exams (P<0.001). The average recovery time (from extracting the colonoscope to patient discharge) was 18.6 min (range 4-75) and longer in ASA II patients (P=0.05). A pulse oximetry saturation of less than 90% and a decrease in systolic blood pressure of more than 20 mmHg were observed in 24 (2.4%) and 385 (35.8%) patients, respectively. Both events were more frequent in patients older than 65 years (P<0.05); the latter was more common in ASA II patients. Colonoscopy under endoscopist-controlled propofol sedation in low-risk patients is safe and effective, allowing for a complete exploration, although patients at least 65 years old and/or classified as ASA II are more likely to present a decrease in blood pressure and have a prolonged recovery time.
 
Article
Different studies have demonstrated that factors such as transmission route, disease duration and age at the time of infection can influence the histological evolution of chronic hepatitis by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aim of this study was to determine if epidemiological factors such as disease duration and transmission route influence the severity of the histological lesions of patients with chronic hepatitis by HCV. A prospective study. The hepatic biopsies of 101 patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis by HCV were studied. The patients were divided into three groups according to transmission mode: (1) post-transfusional (n = 28), (2) associated with the use of drugs by parenteral route or intravenous drug use (n = 28), and (3) sporadic hepatitis (n = 45). We found more severe forms of hepatopathy in post-transfusional hepatitis and sporadic groups than in the intravenous drug user group of patients. The disease evolution time was significantly higher in patients diagnosed as having chronic active hepatitis with or without cirrhosis (13.8 +/- 9 years) than in patients with chronic persistent hepatitis (8 +/- 4 years), P < 0.01. We found a significant correlation between the evolution time of the infection by HCV and the Histology Activity Index (P < 0.01). The multivariate analysis showed that only the transmission route and the disease evolution time are predictive variables of Histology Activity Index in chronic hepatitis C. These results suggest that the post-transfusional and sporadic transmission routes and a greater evolution time of the disease are epidemiological variables that are associated with the presence of more severe histological lesions in chronic hepatitis C.
 
Article
Quantitative fecal immunochemical test (QTFIT) has the advantage of being able to describe test characteristics on a scaled rather than binary system. The aims of this study were to decide the optimal cut-off points of QTFIT and to make a multivariate prediction model for colorectal neoplasms in asymptomatic adults. We retrospectively analyzed 1085 consecutive asymptomatic individuals who completed both full colonoscopy and QTFIT at a general health checkup clinic. Advanced adenomatous polyps (AP) were defined as APs of at least 1 cm in diameter; adenomas with villous component or high-grade dysplasia; and significant neoplasia (SN) including both advanced AP and colorectal cancer. The ideal cut-off value of QTFIT was chosen based on a value that maximized the sum of both sensitivity and specificity, and clinical utility. For AP, 25 ng/ml was chosen as the optimal cut-off value and provided a sensitivity of 31% [95% confidence interval (CI): 27-36] and specificity of 79% (95% CI: 76-82). For SN, the ideal QTFIT cut-off value was 25 ng/ml, providing a sensitivity of 51% (95% CI: 39-62) and specificity of 77% (95% CI: 74-80). For colorectal cancer, the optimal cut-off point was 50 ng/ml, offering a sensitivity of 75% (95% CI: 41-93) and specificity of 86% (95% CI: 85-86). The multivariate prediction model was represented by nomogram and was validated by bootstrap method. The diagnostic performance of QTFIT for CRC is promising, although its sensitivity for AP and SN is unsatisfactory. BMI, in addition to age and sex improves the accuracy of SN screening by QTFIT.
 
Article
Analysis of small-bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE) is time-consuming. QuickView (QV) has been added to the RAPID software to reduce the reading times. However, its validity is still under intense review. Recently, we have shown that Blue Mode (BM) provides improvements in images for most lesion categories. To assess the validity of QuickView with white light (QVWL) and QuickView with Blue Mode (QVBM) reading, in a group of patients who underwent SBCE in our centre, by comparing it with the standard video sequence review (used as reference) by experienced SBCE readers. This was a retrospective study; all SBCE (August 2008-November 2011), performed with PillCam SB, with complete small-bowel visualization were included. A clinician with previous SBCE experience, unaware of the SBCE reports, reviewed prospectively the video streams on RAPID platform using QVWL and QVBM. All SBCE had been reported previously using the standard mode; these reports were considered as the reference. There were 106 cases of obscure gastrointestinal bleeding (OGIB), 81 cases of known or suspected Crohn's disease (CD) and 10 cases of polyposis syndromes. The mean small-bowel evaluation was 475 (± 270) s and 450 (± 156) s for QVWL and QVBM, respectively. In the OGIB (n=106; 21 overt/85 occult), with QVWL, 54 [P0 (28), P1 (18), P2 (8)] lesions were detected, 63 [P0 (48), P1 (13), P2 (2)] with QVBM, as compared with 98 [P0 (67), P1 (23), P2 (8)] by standard (reference) reporting. For P1+P2 lesions, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for QVWL (as compared with reference reporting) were 92.3, 96.3, 96 and 92.8%, respectively. For QVBM, the above values were 91, 96, 96.2 and 90.6%, respectively. Eighty-one (n=81) patients underwent SBCE for small-bowel evaluation on the basis of a clinical history of suspected or known CD. With QVWL, 71 mucosal ulcers were detected, 68 with QVBM, as compared with 155 mucosal ulcers with reference reading. Finally, in the polyposis category with QVWL and QVBM, four polypoid lesions were detected compared with seven with standard (reference) review. QV can be used confidently in OGIB in an urgent inpatient setting and in outpatients with occult OGIB or suspected CD. Furthermore, BM does not confer any additional advantage in the QV setting. Standard review settings should be used in all other cases.
 
Article
Background and study aims: Endoscopic drainage [i.e. conventional, endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS)-assisted, or EUS-guided] is an accepted treatment modality for symptomatic peripancreatic fluid collections (PFC), but data on the efficacy and safety of EUS-guided drainage performed in a large patient cohort are not widely available. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical success and complication rate of EUS-guided drainage of PFCs and to identify prognostic factors for complications and recurrence of PFCs. Patients and methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out of consecutive patients undergoing EUS-guided drainage of a symptomatic PFC in the period 2004-2011. Technical success was defined as the ability to enter and drain a PFC by the placement of one or more double-pigtail stents, whereas clinical success was defined as complete resolution of a PFC on follow-up computed tomography. Results: In total, 108 patients [56% men, mean age 55 (SD 14) years], underwent EUS-guided drainage of a symptomatic PFC. The procedure was technically successful in 105/108 (97%) patients and a median of 2 (range 1-3) pigtail stents were placed. Clinical success was observed in 87/104 (84%) patients after a median follow-up of 53 (interquartile range 21-130) weeks, whereas PFC recurrence was noted in 15/83 (18%) patients. Complications occurred in 21/105 (20%) patients and procedure-related mortality was not observed. Prognostic factors for complications and recurrence of PFCs could not be identified. Conclusion: EUS-guided drainage of PFCs is effective in the majority of patients. Although the complication rate of the procedure is not negligible (20%), they could be managed in almost all patients by conservative and/or endoscopic means and did not result in mortality.
 
Article
Diagnosis of Wilson's disease may be difficult in patients presenting with liver disease and in asymptomatic siblings. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of genetic testing for diagnosis of the disease in a large cohort (n=109) from Hungary. One hundred and nine patients with Wilson's disease were studied (65 men and 44 women; mean age at onset of symptoms: 20+/-9 years). Diagnosis of the disease was based on typical clinical and laboratory features (all had a Wilson's disease score of >or=4). H1069Q was assessed by the semi-nested polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. H1069Q heterozygotes and H1069Q negative samples were then screened for mutations (on exons 6 to 20) by denaturating high-performance liquid chromatography and than sequenced on a genetic analyser. Twenty-three different mutations were found. H1069Q was the most frequent mutation in Hungary, detected in 77 patients (71%). Fourteen further known mutations were found by sequencing. We identified eight new mis-sense mutations not described before: N676I, S693Y, Y715H, M769L, W939C, P1273S, G1281D and G1341V. In 36/109 patients (33%) the diagnosis of Wilson's disease was established by adding mutational analysis. The Kayser-Fleischer ring was more frequent in H1069Q homozygous patients and their mean age at the time of diagnosis was higher than in patients heterozygous or negative for H1069Q. Eight novel mutations in addition to the 15 that are already known were found in Hungarian patients with Wilson's disease. Our results underline the importance and usefulness of genetic testing for patients presenting with liver disease and for family screening.
 
Article
BASIC: To describe the main characteristics and treatment of sarcoidosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Retrospective cohort study of patients with chronic HCV infection and sarcoidosis at our tertiary institution. Eleven cases (eight women, three men) fulfilled the criteria for sarcoidosis. Four cases belong to our population of 3194 (0.12%) HCV patients seen in our department between 2001 and 2008. In five cases, sarcoidosis was triggered by antiviral therapy (consisted of interferon-alpha monotherapy in one case and combined therapy with interferon-alpha and ribavirin in four cases) and developed from 23 to 82 months after completion of therapy in three cases. For these patients, pulmonary adenopathies were found in three patients while two presented cutaneous involvement, one had uveitis and one presented both arthritis and extrapulmonary lymphadenopathies. Two patients received systemic corticosteroids with a favourable outcome. Four treatment-naive patients developed sarcoidosis. Two had pulmonary disease, one had medullar involvement, one had superficial lymphadenopathy and one had arthralgia. Three patients received systemic corticosteroids with chronic outcome in all cases. One of the two patients with an earlier history of sarcoidosis experienced a benign relapse that resolved spontaneously. Clinical manifestations of sarcoidosis may occur in HCV patients, especially during or after treatment with immunotherapy. In our experience, sarcoidosis triggered by antiviral therapy was more frequent after completion of therapy, but concording with literature, presented a benign outcome. In sarcoidosis, seen in treatment-naive HCV patients, systemic corticosteroids had to be used more often and outcome was less favourable.
 
Article
Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent shunt (TIPSS) is now widely used in the treatment of uncontrolled and recurrent variceal haemorrhage. This study reports the outcome and long-term follow-up of 125 patients who were referred to a single centre for TIPSS. One hundred and twenty-five patients were referred to undergo TIPSS. All but 10 had variceal haemorrhage. The 10 patients referred with refractory ascites were excluded from the analysis. Our follow-up protocol was to assess shunt patency only if bleeding recurred or there was a clinical indication. The mean age was 51.5 years (range 18-87 years) and 64 patients (56%) were male. The commonest aetiology for chronic liver disease was alcohol (80%). At referral, 19 patients (16%) were Child-Pugh class A, 26 patients (23%) were Child-Pugh class B and 70 patients (61%) were Child-Pugh class C. The mean follow-up period was 20.4 months (range 0-95 months). TIPSS was successfully placed in 108 of 115 patients (94%). The thirty-day mortality was 30%. One-year and 2-year overall cumulative survival was 52% (survival ratio, 0.525; 95% confidence interval, 0.432-0.619) and 43% (survival ratio, 0.436; 95% confidence interval, 0.340-0.532), respectively. TIPSS is effective in the treatment of uncontrolled or recurrent variceal bleeding. In comparison with previously published studies, our study suggests no value in regular or routine shunt surveillance to reduce rebleeding episodes or mortality, but this needs to be further assessed in prospective randomized studies.
 
Article
We report a 51-year-old man with an advanced malignant metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumour, who showed a complete response after 5 months of treatment with imatinib at a dose of 400 mg per day. An early treatment response was demonstrated in an 18fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography scan after 1 month of therapy. Complete remission was documented histologically by negative serial biopsies of residual tumour nodes after 5 months of therapy. No serious side effects were seen with imatinib. A 21 bp, exon 11, in-frame mutation of the c-kit gene was found by DNA sequence analysis of tumour tissue.
 
Article
To describe a patient with pulmonary and portal hypertension and to review the pathogenesis and management of this condition. A 22-year-old woman with portal hypertension and liver cirrhosis who later developed pulmonary hypertension. The patient received antibiotic therapy and underwent a splenectomy and proximal splenorenal shunt for portal hypertension. She later received hydralazine, digoxin and warfarin for pulmonary hypertension. After undergoing a splenorenal shunt the patient made a good recovery. However, she later developed pulmonary hypertension and died after undergoing a hysterectomy and a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. The concomitant development of portal and pulmonary hypertension in the same patient has a poor prognosis. The treatment available for patients with these conditions is unsatisfactory and most patients eventually die as a result of cardiovascular disease. Cardiopulmonary and liver transplantation should be considered in suitable patients.
 
Article
The role of various treatments for variceal haemorrhage is currently being evaluated. The purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of the use of endoscopic variceal sclerotherapy (EVS), variceal band ligation (VBL) and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent-shunt (TIPSS) for secondary prophylaxis on the outcome of cirrhotic patients with the first episode of variceal haemorrhage presenting to a single centre. Between 1986 and 1996, data from 225 consecutive patients with the first episode of variceal haemorrhage were analysed. The modality of treatment for secondary prophylaxis between 1986 and 1991 was EVS (group I: n = 83; Child class C, 29%; mean follow-up 36 +/- 3 months), between 1991 and 1993 VBL (group II: n = 56; Child class C, 38%; mean follow-up 24 +/- 3 months), and between 1995 and 1996 TIPSS (group III: n = 86; Child class C, 60%; mean follow-up 17 +/- 1 months). Half of the patients between 1993 and 1995 underwent VBL and the other half had TIPSS. Data regarding rebleeding, mortality and encephalopathy were analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox's proportional hazard regression was used to test the significance of prognostic factors. Seventy-five per cent of patients re-bled in group I, 40% in group II, and 16% in group III (P < 0.0001). Mortality was significantly lower in the patients with Child class C disease in group III patients compared with those in groups I and II (P < 0.02). TIPSS was associated independently with reduced early mortality and re-bleeding. The results of this study suggest that TIPSS improves survival in patients with advanced liver disease and variceal haemorrhage, and should be considered for secondary prophylaxis in high-risk patients.
 
Article
In this paper, we review the histological features of coeliac disease and propose a standardized report scheme based on the Marsh classification. Furthermore, terms used by pathologists are defined. The most important histological differential diagnoses are given, as well as a definition of the different clinical forms of coeliac disease such as symptomatic, silent, latent, potential, treated and refractory coeliac disease, Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 11:1185-1194 (C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
 
Article
A 70-year-old woman presented with symptoms of profound anaemia and evidence of intermittent gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, abdominal computerised tomography, sulphur colloid scintigraphy and selective mesenteric angiography were non-diagnostic. An indium-labelled red-cell scan was performed, which suggested bleeding from the ileum at 36 h. At laparotomy, a primary small-bowel adenocarcinoma was resected. Six weeks later, she was again anaemic. Repeat colonoscopy showed a synchronous primary colonic adenocarcinoma, which had been masked by intraluminal blood during the original indium scan. The lesion was impalpable, even after full mobilisation of the colon. A right hemicolectomy was performed. Indium has a longer half-life (67 h) than the more commonly used technetium isotope (18 h). This allows serial imaging for up to 5 days, which may increase diagnostic efficiency in intermittent gastrointestinal bleeding. Clinicians should be aware that persisting activity from intraluminal blood may mask synchronous lesions.
 
Article
The functional Ser326Cys polymorphism in the human 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (hOGG1) gene has been implicated in gastric cancer risk. However, the published findings are inconsistent. We therefore carried out a meta-analysis to investigate this relationship. Nine published case-control studies, including 1180 gastric cancer cases and 2444 controls, were identified. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess the strength of the association. Overall, the hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism was significantly associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer in a recessive model (Cys/Cys vs. Ser/Cys+Ser/Ser: odds ratio=1.31, 95% confidence interval: 1.03-1.67). In the stratified analysis, a significant association was also observed among Asian populations and hospital-based controls. However, when stratified by smoking status of gastric cancer patients, no statistically significant result was found. Taken together, the results suggest that the hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism may contribute to susceptibility to gastric cancer.
 
Article
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer worldwide. As prognosis of HCC patients depends not only on tumour extension but also on liver function, TNM staging of HCC is of limited value. The Okuda score incorporating the variables of liver function and tumour extension is used widely. However, among patients with an intermediate Okuda score, survival varies considerably. Several newer scores promise to perform better than the Okuda score in stratifying HCC patients. We therefore tested the ability of several newer scores to predict survival in comparison to the Okuda score in a European cohort of HCC patients. A total of 120 patients with sufficient follow-up data were identified retrospectively among the 130 patients with HCC first seen between 1997 and 2000 in our department. Child-Pugh score, Okuda score, Vienna survival model for HCC (VISUM-HCC) score, Chevret score, Barcelona clinic liver cancer (BCLC) classification and cancer of the liver Italian programme (CLIP) score were calculated. Survival analysis was performed for all eligible patients stratified according to each scoring system. Receiver operating characteristics analysis was performed using six months survival as the outcome measure. Univariate and stepwise logistic regression analyses were performed to identify prognostic factors. Survival times of HCC patients grouped according to all scores were significantly different. All scores performed similarly to the Okuda score in the receiver operating characteristic analysis. Prognostic factors for survival were albumin concentration and the presence of portal obstruction. In our central European cohort, there was no advantage of using the newer scores instead of the Okuda score.
 
Article
The appropriate dose of proton pump inhibitors needed for eradicating Helicobacter pylori by dual therapy is still controversial. The study was conducted as a single-blind, single-centre trial. Fifty-four patients with active duodenal ulcers were treated with amoxycillin tablets, 750 mg three times daily, and omeprazole, either 40 mg twice daily (group 1) or 40 mg three times daily (group 2), for 14 days in a prospective randomized trial. H. pylori eradication was assessed 10 weeks after starting treatment. Biopsies were taken for rapid urease tests and histological analysis and 13C-urea breath tests were ordered. In both groups ulcer healing was complete in 96.3% of patients after 10 weeks. Ten weeks after starting treatment, Helicobacter pylori was eradicated in 76.9% of the patients in group 1 and 74.1% of those in group 2, as shown by rapid urease tests and histological analysis. In the subgroup of fully compliant patients (n = 49) the eradication rates were 80% and 79.2%, respectively. Hyperacidity significantly reduced the eradication rates. Patients showing successful H. pylori eradication were significantly older (59 +/- 14.0 years vs. 49 +/- 15.6 years; P = 0.025). Eradication rates were lower in smokers than in non-smokers (36.4% vs. 83.9%; P = 0.006). It is concluded that higher omeprazole doses should be reserved for younger patients and smokers; in others they are not needed.
 
Article
To evaluate the usefulness of 123I-labelled anti-vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) monoclonal antibody (MAb) scintigraphy in the assessment of colonic inflammatory damage. Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of 30 mg trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid in 0.5 ml of 50% (v/v) ethanol. Rats injected with vehicle served as controls. Animals were studied at day 7 after induction of colitis. Scintigraphy was performed in control and trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid-induced colitic rats 2, 4 and 24 h after intravenous administration of 123I-anti-VCAM-1 MAb. Scintigraphic uptake was quantified in selected areas on scintigraphs. Animals were killed, tissue 123I radioactivity accumulation was measured, and accumulation of anti-VCAM-1 MAb in each organ was calculated. 99mTc-hexamethyl propylene amine oxime-labelled leucocyte scintigraphy was performed in additional groups of animals for comparison. Colonic tracer uptake was visible in scans of colitic, but not control animals. Quantification of scintigraphic uptake in the colon was significantly higher in colitic rats than in control animals (P< 0.0001). The specificity of the increase was demonstrated by lack of 123I-labelled non-binding MAb uptake in the colon, and by displacement of 123I-anti-VCAM-1 MAb colonic uptake by pre-treatment with unlabelled MAb. Accumulation of anti-VCAM-1 MAb in the colon of colitic rats was eightfold higher than in control animals. Strong correlations were found between quantification of scintigraphic uptake, anti-VCAM-1 MAb accumulation, histological damage and myeloperoxidase activity in the colon. 123I-labelled anti-VCAM-1 MAb scintigraphy allows an accurate evaluation of colonic inflammatory damage in trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid-induced colitis, suggesting a potential role for this imaging technique in the assessment of human IBD.
 
Article
A 65-year-old man presented with multiple liver tumours. Imaging techniques could not differentiate between adenomas and hepatocellular carcinomas. He had no relevant past medical history. Liver function tests were normal except for a 1.5-fold rise in GGT. AFP was normal. Viral markers were negative. During laparoscopy, numerous black tumours of different sizes were seen. These tumours were adenomas without malignant transformation. Tumoral hepatocytes contained a brown pigment in the canalicular area without evidence of cholestasis. This pigment was Fontana positive and looked like Dubin-Johnson pigment by electron microscopy. The expression of the canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter (cMOAT) was decreased in the tumours but normal in the non-tumoral liver ruling out the diagnosis of Dubin-Johnson syndrome. There was mild iron deposition possibly related to an homozygous H63D mutation in the HFE gene. Three years after their discovery, the size of the tumours remained stable. It is concluded that this male patient with multiple adenomas and mild iron overload is at risk of developing an hepatocellular carcinoma and that the black colour of adenomas is probably due to a partial defect in excretion of organic anions.
 
Article
To analyze the data (epidemiology, mode of transmission, course, and outcome) of a large series of patients with acute hepatitis C (AHC) in France. Prospective multicenter register, observational study. A cohort of 126 patients with AHC was prospectively enrolled between 1999 and 2007. Fifteen (12%) were HIV coinfected. Suspected modes of hepatitis C virus transmission were drug use (38%), sexual contact (21%), nosocomial transmission (18%), and occupational exposure (12%). For 40% of the patients, AHC was revealed by jaundice. Spontaneous viral clearance occurred in 40% of the 72 patients observed for 3 months without treatment. Only jaundice and nosocomial/occupational transmission were predictive of spontaneous viral clearance. Ninety patients were treated with standard or pegylated interferon-alpha alone (58%) or in combination with ribavirin (42%), for 24 weeks or less in 90%. In intention-to-treat, a sustained viral response was obtained in 58 of 78 (74%) hepatitis C virus monoinfected patients [19 of 22 (86%) with 24 weeks of pegylated interferon-alpha alone], but only six of 12 (50%) of HIV coinfected patients. AHC remains rare, and drug and sexual transmission are predominant. A 3-month follow-up after diagnosis avoids treatment for four out of 10 patients. Antiviral treatment is highly effective, 24 weeks of pegylated interferon-alpha alone being a good option.
 
Article
The 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT) is a very accurate method of Helicobacter pylori diagnosis with a false-negative rate of 1-3%. However, the accuracy of the 13C-UBT is affected by potent acid inhibition with proton-pump inhibitors, which may suppress H. pylori and cause false-negative results. It is not known whether this occurs with less potent acid inhibition by H2-antagonists and any effect may be important clinically. To determine the kinetics of 13CO2 excretion in H. pylori infected subjects during and after short-term ranitidine use. Volunteers underwent a baseline 13C-UBT (positive: delta13CO2 > or = 5.0; negative: < or = 3.5; indeterminate: > 3.5 to < 5.0). Infected subjects took ranitidine 300 mg each evening for up to 28 days. 13C-UBTs were performed at weekly intervals and then every other day after ranitidine was ceased. If the 13C-UBT remained positive after 14 days, ranitidine was continued for a further 14 days. Thirty-one subjects were studied (mean age 40.4 +/- 2.1 years; 23 female/8 male; mean baseline delta13CO2 27.3 +/- 2.5). In 28 subjects the 13C-UBT remained positive during ranitidine use. The mean delta13CO2 rose to 124% (P< 0.06) and 121% (P < 0.05) of baseline at 14 and 28 days respectively. In two subjects, the delta13CO2 became indeterminate at day 7 (delta13CO2 4.3 and 3.8). In one of these, return to a positive value (delta13CO2 13.6; 103% of baseline) occurred while still on ranitidine. The other subject became positive again by day 3 off ranitidine (17.8; 119% of baseline). One subject had a transiently negative test after 21 days and this became positive again while still taking ranitidine. Ranitidine has a minimal effect on the 13C-UBT. The rate of indeterminate or false-negative tests is no greater than in patients on no anti-secretory medication.
 
Article
Currently, the (13)C-urea breath test is the reference method for non-invasive diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection and therapy control. Therefore, new technologies have been developed to measure the ratio of (13)CO(2)/(12)CO(2) in breath. The laser-assisted ratio analyser (LARA) device is based on optogalvanic effects of the stimulated CO(2) molecules. In this study, the LARA system is prospectively compared to conventional isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) analysis of (13)C-urea breath tests. The (13)C-urea breath test was used to screen 103 patients for H. pylori infection. Breath samples were analysed by LARA and IRMS techniques. Seven breath tests could not be analysed by the LARA system, one by IRMS. Out of the remaining 95 breath tests, 13 were positive for H. pylori infection (13.7%). In reference to IRMS analysis (with a cut-off of > 5 delta per thousand at 30 min), LARA produced one false positive and one false negative breath test result giving a sensitivity of 92.3% and a specificity of 98.8%. The mean difference in delta over baseline values between IRMS and LARA measurements was 2.02 delta per thousand +/- 5.48 delta per thousand. LARA allows the reliable qualitative evaluation of 13C-urea breath tests, but the quantitative results differ from IRMS findings.
 
Article
Spontaneous hepatic rupture is a rare clinical event associated with various pathologies of the liver. Most series to date reported the incidence and characteristics of a single etiology. Data were collected for all patients admitted with spontaneous hepatic rupture from 1995 to 2007. Ten patients met the study criteria. Hepatocellular adenoma was the cause of the rupture in six female patients, in their second to fourth decade. In the remaining patients, the ruptures were because of hepatocellular carcinoma in two, metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor in one, and HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) in one. Nine out of 10 patients were treated surgically. Spontaneous hepatic rupture requires a high index of suspicion for a correct and timely diagnosis. Outcome is potentially grave and greatly depends on the underlying condition.
 
Article
The endoscopic (13)C-urea breath test ((13)C-EUBT), which combines the urea breath test (UBT) with endoscopy, provides high accuracy for the detection of Helicobacter pylori. This study was conducted to determine whether the (13)C-EUBT using low doses of urea and short sampling times could preserve accuracy in the management of H. pylori infection. Three hundred and twenty-five patients were randomized to receive the EUBT with 100, 50 or 25 mg of (13)C-urea by endoscopic spraying. The breath samples collected at 5, 10 and 20 min were analysed using an isotope selected non-dispersive infrared spectrometer. H. pylori infection was assessed by the rapid urease test and histology. In each sampling schedule and protocol, cut-off values were calculated by a receiver operating characteristic curve. We applied the EUBT with 25 mg of (13)C-urea at 5 min to the assessment of eradication in 135 patients who had received the antimicrobial treatment or to the detection of the organism in 61 patients with previous partial gastrectomy. Based on histology and the urease test, patients who had discordant results were excluded from the analysis. Using 100 mg of urea, the sensitivity and specificity of the test were both 100% at 10 and 20 min, and the sensitivity and specificity at 5 min were best with 98.6% and 100%, respectively. With 50 mg, they were both 100% at 20 min, and the best combination of sensitivity and specificity at 5 and 10 min was 97.3-96.6% and 97.3-100%, respectively. Even with 25 mg, the sensitivity and specificity were both 100.0% at 20 min, and at the 5 min and 10 min time point, the EUBT yielded a sensitivity of 98.7% and a specificity of 100%. There was a significant positive correlation between the test values of the 5 min (13)C-EUBT with 25 mg of test urea and those of the conventional UBT. The 5 min EUBT with (13)C-urea offered high accuracy in the assessment of H. pylori eradication, with the sensitivity and specificity being 100% and 96.4%, respectively. In patients with previous gastrectomy, the EUBT provided acceptable accuracy (a sensitivity of 96.4% and a specificity of 97.0%). Our results indicate that the (13)C-EUBT is an accurate method for detecting H. pylori infection. The EUBT using only 25 mg of (13)C-urea at the early (5 min) time point has satisfactory diagnostic efficacy in pre- and post-eradication treatment settings, providing a less expensive and more rapid way of performing the test. The EUBT may be a reliable method of assessing H. pylori status in the remnant stomach.
 
Article
Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (IPSID) represents a spectrum of clinicopathological entities including alpha-chain disease and other types of lymphoplasmacytic proliferations of the lamina propria of the small intestine, presenting with severe malabsorption. IPSID has been described mainly in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and African countries. It occurs rarely in western countries. We present here our experience from Greece describing some interesting findings in cases diagnosed during the years 1970-2002. Current immunological and immunohistochemical methods for the detection of alpha heavy chains and the presence of clonality have been used to study 13 cases of IPSID diagnosed in Greece, two of whom were Albanian residents. The patients were categorized in three subgroups of IPSID: alpha-chain disease (n=8), non-alpha chain disease with other monoclonal immunoglobulins (n=3), and polyclonal 'non-malignant' IPSID (n=2). In several patients the disease had unusual features, and this in some cases delayed the diagnosis. In suspected cases it is thus of the utmost importance to proceed to an exploratory laparatomy. Patients with stage C disease had a short survival, whereas two patients with stage A alpha-chain disease responded to treatment with cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisolone, and cyclophosphamide, doxorubicine, vincristine and prednisolone, respectively, have a disease-free long survival of 35 and 12 years, and appear to be cured.
 
Article
The purpose of this multicentre study was to assess the accuracy and reproducibility of the 13C-octanoic acid breath test compared to scintigraphy for measurement of gastric emptying. Sixty-nine healthy subjects (40 men, 29 women; mean age 30 years, range 21-61) were studied at least once by using the 13C-octanoic breath test. In 34 healthy subjects, gastric emptying was simultaneously measured by gastric scintigraphy, and the 13C-octanoic breath test was then repeated in 18 of these cases. Fifty-four patients (30 men, 24 women; mean age 46 years, range 13-74) with dyspeptic or reflux symptoms were studied according to the same procedure. The correlation between breath test and scintigraphic values was highly significant (r = 0.744, P<0.001). The concordance of results of scintigraphy and breath test (normal versus abnormal) and the reproducibility (Bland and Altman method) of the breath test were good (CVinter = 24%, CVintra = 15%). As compared to scintigraphy, breath test detected an abnormal gastric emptying with 67% sensitivity and 80% specificity (ROC analysis). These results confirm the value of breath test as an accurate measurement of gastric emptying. Its excellent reproducibility makes it a method of choice for pharmacological studies. However, at least when scintigraphy is considered the gold standard, breath test sensitivity may be insufficient for the detection of gastroparesis in an individual patient.
 
Article
Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is the accepted method for accurately measuring the 13CO2:12CO2 ratio in the non-invasive and non-radioactive [13C]urea breath test (13C-UBT) for Helicobactor pylori. The IRMS instrument, an expensive and highly specialized analyser, is rarely available. The objective of this project was to modify and validate the use of a simple bench-top gas chromatograph-mass selective detector (GC-MSD) for 13C-UBT. Breath samples from 71 patients were taken at baseline and 30 min after ingestion of 100 mg [13C]urea. The breath samples were analysed using GC-MSD in the selected ion monitoring mode. The reference 13CO2:12CO2 ratio was from NBS19 obtained from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. 13CO2:12CO2 ratios of the breath samples were determined. Excess delta per thousand (per mil, delta/thousand) of the 30 min sample over the baseline (deltadelta/thousand) of > or = 6deltadelta/thousand was considered H. pylori positive. Results from 13C-UBT and histology determined blind to each other were compared. The coefficient of variation of the reference 13CO2:12CO2 ratio was 0.06%. Using histology as the 'gold standard', the sensitivity (97.9%) and specificity (95.8%) of the GC-MSD 13C-UBT were comparable to those of other methods of H. pylori diagnosis. A gas chromatograph coupled to a mass selective detector that is available in many analytical and biomedical laboratories can be used for the 13C-UBT. This method will increase the availability and reduce the cost of this non-invasive, non-radioactive diagnostic test.
 
Article
Carcinoid tumours are rare, but well known for their characteristic presentation with diarrhoea and flushes due to overproduction of serotonin in the case of liver metastases. Treatment is mainly based on the reduction of vasoactive peptide hypersecretion and symptomatic improvement Octreotide and interferon are widely applied and effective treatment options to induce symptomatic improvement and, to a lesser extent, biochemical response. The main drawbacks, however, are the need for frequent injections and/or the occurrence of side effects. A rather new approach is the application of meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), which resembles noradrenalin and serotonin. In carcinoid patients, MIBG is taken up in the tumour cells and stored in the neurosecretory granules. When labelled with 131 iodine, radionuclide imaging is positive in up to 70% of the patients. In these patients, two cycles of a therapeutic dose of radioactive MIBG may induce long-lasting palliation (8 months) by internal irradiation. Also, the non-radioactive MIBG compound may be effective in palliation, even in patients with a negative scan. The mode of action is based on specific tumour acidification as found in animal models, and/or based on its effect as a false neurotransmittor. Three case reports demonstrate different therapeutic possibilities of MIBG: 1) symptomatic relief with unlabelled MIBG, which is a safe and simple treatment; 2) the longterm palliation following radioactive treatment; and 3) an additional new aspect of predosing with unlabelled MIBG followed by radioactive MIBG led to improved tumour targeting and impressive clinical response.
 
Article
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is growing in western countries. Poor liver status and tumour size make curative options scarce. Palliative treatments such as chemo-embolization are improving survival in selected patients, but side-effects are frequent. There is a need for the validation of alternative treatments. Metabolic radiotherapy using lipiodol labelled with 131I-iodine (I-131-lipiodol) is one of these treatments. To analyse the effect of I-131-lipiodol in a population of advanced HCC patients and to define the potential prognostic factors in this setting. A retrospective analysis of the effect of I-131-lipiodol on 29 patients bearing multifocal tumours was performed. An analysis of two subgroups, defined by a Cancer of the Liver Italian Program (CLIP) score of 2 or less (n=20) or greater than 2 (n=9) was performed to assess the prognostic significance of the score in this setting. Overall median survival in the entire study population was 203 days (95% confidence interval 83-322 days). Median survival was significantly better in the group with CLIP scores of 2 or less than in the group with CLIP scores greater than 2 (453 versus 60 days, P< or =0.001). Treatment-related mortality was 6.9% (one interstitial pneumonia and one acute liver failure). The survival of patients treated with I-131-lipiodol in this series compared favourably with published data. Stratification according to the CLIP score was useful to predict survival. In particular, patients with portal vein thrombosis should only be considered for I-131-lipiodol if the CLIP score is lower than 2.
 
Article
The urea breath test (UBT) is the gold-standard non-invasive test for the detection of Helicobacter pylori infection, however, the lack of availability of the UBT due to the high cost of the test, and in particular the need for expensive analytical instrumentation, limits the usefulness of this method. Stool antigen assays may offer an alternative non-invasive method for the diagnosis of infection. To compare the accuracy of three stool antigen assays (HpSA, IDEIA HpStAR, and ImmunoCard STAT) against the UBT for the primary diagnosis of H. pylori infection and for monitoring treatment outcome. A total of 102 patients attending two gastroenterology day-case clinics for the investigation of dyspepsia were included. Each patient provided breath and stool samples for analysis. Patients who tested positive for H. pylori by the validated UBT were prescribed triple therapy and invited to return for repeat breath and stool sample analysis 6 weeks post-treatment. Of the 102 patients tested, 48 were diagnosed with H. pylori infection by the UBT. The HpSA assay interpreted 38 of these as positive (79% sensitive). Of the 54 UBT-negative patients the HpSA assay interpreted all 54 as negative (100% specific). The IDEIA HpStAR assay correctly identified 44 patients as positive (92% sensitive) and 50 as negative (92.5% specific). The ImmunoCard STAT assay interpreted 38 patients as positive (79% sensitive) and 52 as negative (96.3% specific). The findings indicate that the IDEIA HpStAR stool antigen kit is the most accurate assay of the three assays evaluated, and possibly represents a viable alternative to the UBT for the primary diagnosis of H. pylori infection and for monitoring treatment outcome.
 
Article
The 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT) is the method of choice in evaluating the success of therapy for eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. For reasons of cost efficiency and practicability, urea dose and measurement duration have been reduced and the DOB (delta over baseline) cutoff level with the highest predictive value determined. Further, the efficacy of the modified 13C-UBT as a semi-quantitative test method was evaluated by comparison with histologically determined bacterial infiltration. In a prospective study, a modified 13C-UBT with reduced urea dose (75 mg) and shortened measurement duration (30 min) was administered to 145 patients. The DOB cutoff with the highest predictive value was determined using relative operating characteristic analysis. Reference methods included histology, bacterial culture and the rapid urease test. The DOB value was compared with the histologically determined grade of bacterial infiltration and the correlation evaluated using the Spearman ranking method. Reduction of the DOB cutoff level from 5.0 per thousand to 3.5 per thousand led to significant improvement in sensitivity (78.9% vs. 91.2%) and accuracy (88.6% vs. 90.2%) of the 13C-UBT. Only five of 57 infected patients were incorrectly reported as non-infected after modification of the DOB level. In two of three patients in whom histological findings were negative but the 13C-urease test positive, bacterial growth was observed at culture. The DOB level correlated significantly with histological grade of bacterial infection. The modified 13C-UBT proved to be a sensitive, practicable and cost-effective method for detecting H. pylori infection and permits a semi-quantitative estimation of bacterial infiltration.
 
Article
The 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT) is one of the best methods for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Basal breath samples are usually obtained, in addition to those obtained after urea intake, as it has been suggested that basal values may oscillate among a population (e.g. depending on diet). However, the superiority of this strategy has not been sufficiently demonstrated. The elimination of basal samples in the 13C-UBT protocol would have the advantages of higher simplicity and speed. The 13C-UBT was performed in 714 consecutive patients. Mean age was 48 +/- 16 years, 49% were males, and in 48% of the patients previous H. pylori eradication therapy had been administered. Basal samples (13C-basal) and at 30 min after taking 100 mg of urea labelled with 13C (13C-post-urea) were obtained, delta over baseline (13C-DOB) being the algebraic difference between the ratio 13C/12C at these two points (which is the parameter usually given in studies, being considered positive when > 5%). A citric acid solution was used prior to urea intake. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was 48%. Mean values of 13C-basal, 13C-post-urea, and 13C-DOB were, respectively, -19 +/- 2, 5.9 +/- 33, and 25 +/- 33. 13C-basal values oscillated between -25 and -14, being between -21 and -16 in 90% of the cases. Linear correlation coefficient for 13C-post-urea and 13C-DOB was 0.999 (determination coefficient, 0.998; P< 0.0001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the diagnosis of infection when only 13C-post-urea was used (taking 13C-DOB >5% as the 'gold standard') was 0.997. Best results were obtained with 13C-post-urea cut-off point set at -13, with sensitivity of 97.4% (95% CI, 95-99%), specificity of 99.5% (98-100%), and positive likelihood ratio of 180. The concordance kappa value for both tests (13C-post-urea and 13C-DOB) using the aforementioned cut-off point was 0.97. When performing the 13C-urea breath test it is sufficient to obtain samples 30 min after urea intake. Basal breath samples would not be necessary, which further simplifies this diagnostic method.
 
Article
The 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT) is a useful non-invasive method of diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection. One of its limitations, however, is that patients have to fast for 4 h before testing. We have compared the accuracy of a non-fasting 13C-UBT (NF13C-UBT) with a fasting 13C-UBT (F13C-UBT) test and against a gold standard. An unblinded prospective crossover study. H. pylori status was assessed by histology, culture and rapid urease test. Patients were defined as H. pylori positive if two or more tests gave a positive result and negative if all tests were negative. H. pylori status was indeterminate if only one test gave a positive result. Following endoscopy patients had a F13C-UBT and then a further NF13C-UBT up to 14 days later after eating two slices of toast with jam or honey and tea or coffee. Of the 222 patients recruited to the study, 123 were gold standard H. pylori positive and 94 were negative with five patients having indeterminate status. Compared to this gold standard the NF13C-UBT had a 98% sensitivity and 96% specificity and the F13C-UBT had a 96% sensitivity and 97% specificity. The NF13C-UBT and F13C-UBT agreed in 217/222 (98%) cases. Relaxation of the fasting state does not reduce the accuracy of the 13C-UBT, making this test more convenient for patients.
 
Article
1) The (13)C-urea breath test is one of the most important non-invasive methods for detecting Helicobacter pylori infection in both pre- and post-treatment phases. 2) In order to render the test less expensive and more rapid, a series of modifications have recently been proposed concerning the dose of (13)C-urea and its formulation, as well as the type of measuring equipment used for detecting (13)CO(2) in breath samples. 3) The use of small doses (40--50 mg) of isotope in gelatin capsules or mixed with citric acid in rapid-releasing tablets seems to be promising as it shortens sampling time to 10--20 min. 4) Infrared spectroscopy and laser-assisted ratio analysis equipment are two new valid and less expensive alternatives to conventional isotope mass spectrometry for (13)C analysis in breath. The (13)C-urea breath test is one of the most accurate non-invasive tests for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection. This method has become increasingly popular in the last decade since it employs an innocuous, non-radioactive isotope that can be safely used in both children and adults. The test has been recently simplified by reducing the dose of (13)C-urea used, by adopting shorter sampling times and by using new and cheaper measuring methods for (13)C analysis in the breath samples. These include nondispersive isotope-selective infrared spectroscopy (NDIRS) and laser-assisted ratio analysis (LARA), which greatly differ from each other in their technical characteristics and cost. Both NDIRS and LARA are valid alternatives to conventional isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), although LARA appears to be more suitable for large laboratories or gastroenterological centres, which need to process many breath samples per day, whereas NDIRS seems to be more suitable for small laboratories or doctors' offices.
 
Article
This study analyses the 13C-urea breath test with the aim of determining the optimal time interval between dosing and breath sampling and examines the feasibility of having patients perform the test without supervision at home. Prospective study comparing the 13C-urea breath test with four antral biopsy-based tests in a random population undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. One university hospital and one general hospital. One hundred and four patients were included; 61 were Helicobacter pylori-positive and 43 H. pylori-negative according to biopsy-based tests. The 13C-urea breath test was performed at home by collecting a baseline and two post-dosing samples; the next day it was performed clinically by collecting a baseline and six post-dosing samples. A 100 mg dose of 13C-urea and a test meal were used. The breath samples collected were analysed. Excess delta 13CO2/12CO2 values above five per million were considered positive. The specificity of the clinical test was 100% whereas that of the home-based test was 95.1%. The sensitivity of the clinical test depended on the time interval between dosing and collection of the evaluated sample. Sensitivity was 100% if the sample was taken 50 min or more after dosing. The home-based test had a sensitivity of 94.8%. To obtain maximum sensitivity (100%) using the single-sample technique the sample has to be collected at least 50 min after dosing. It is feasible to have the test performed at home. Patient selection and thorough instruction are necessary.
 
Article
To clarify the relationship between the completeness of vagotomy and Helicobacter pylori colonization in the development of recurrent ulcer (RU) during a long-term follow-up period after the operation in duodenal ulcer (DU) patients. 122 consecutive vagotomized DU patients were studied twice on average 9 and 14 years after vagotomy. The presence of RU and completeness of vagotomy were assessed simultaneously endoscopically and by endoscopic Congo Red test (ECRT). The positive ECRT showed incomplete vagotomy. The amount of H. pylori in the biopsy specimens of the gastric antrum and corpus mucosa was detected histologically by microscopic counting. The cumulative increase in RU occurred from 4% (5/122) at 9 years to 18% (22/122) at 14 years (P < 0.001) and the rate of ECRT positive cases rose from 52 to 71%, respectively (P < 0.01). All RU cases were ECRT positive. H. pylori colonization occurred in 92% of cases at 9 years and in 98% of cases at 14 years. Vagotomy increased H. pylori prevalence in the corpus mucosa and the rate of the high intensity grade of H. pylori in the antrum and corpus mucosa. The number of RU after vagotomy increases with time and is limited to patients with incomplete vagotomy. H. pylori colonization and the increased rate of its high intensity in the gastric mucosa after vagotomy may promote the development of RU only in incomplete vagotomy cases.
 
Article
Hepatorenal syndrome (HRS) is a severe complication of cirrhosis, leading to death in more than 90% of cases in the absence of liver transplantation. Several treatments have been attempted as a bridge to liver transplantation. Among such treatments, terlipressin has been studied in several reports, two prospective pilot studies and a double-blind, short-term, controlled haemodynamic study. Promising results have been shown with this drug. The purpose of this multicentre retrospective study was to evaluate the effects of terlipressin on renal function and survival of patients with HRS. Eighteen patients recruited in three liver units with type 1 HRS in 16 cases and type 2 HRS in two cases were given 4 mg/day terlipressin (range 1.5-12) for 7 days (range 2-16). Electrolytes, renal function, mean urinary output, natriuresis, liver function tests, and tolerance of the treatment were monitored regularly. A total of 13/18 (72%) patients responded with a mean decline in serum creatinine ranging from 31 to 75% from day 0 to day 5. Eight of these 13 patients had a normal serum creatinine level at day 5. Liver function tests remained unaffected by terlipressin administration. Three local necrosis complications were noted in patients receiving terlipressin continuously via an infusion pump. Two responder patients survived: one of these underwent orthotopic liver transplantation with a follow-up of 24 months; the other is alive with a follow-up of more than 36 months. Patients who responded to terlipressin had lower baseline serum bilirubin and significantly higher serum sodium concentrations than patients who did not respond. In this pilot study, improvement in renal function was noted in 72% of cases after administration of terlipressin, and was associated with long-term survival in two patients. Parameters associated with response to terlipressin and increased survival should be defined better in a large cohort of cirrhotic patients with HRS.
 
Article
To compare 14 and 24 weeks treatment to patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection and rapid virological response (RVR). Patients included in two Scandinavian trials, one nonrandomized pilot trial (n=122) and one randomized controlled trial (RCT) (n=428) were entered into a pooled database. In both trials treatment naïve patients with genotype 2 or 3 were treated with pegylated interferon alpha 2b (1.5 microg/kg, subcutaneous) weekly and ribavirin (800-1400 mg, orally) daily. Primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR). RVR was defined as HCV RNA less than 50 IU/ml after 4 weeks of treatment. In the pilot trial all patients with RVR were treated for 14 weeks and in the RCT patients with RVR were randomised to either 14 or 24 weeks treatment. Patients treated per protocol were included in the primary analysis. The noninferiority margin was set to be 10% between the two groups with a one-sided 5% significance level. In patients with RVR and genotype 2 or 3 SVR was obtained in 181 of 199 (91.0%) and 93 of 98 (94.9%) after 14 and 24 weeks treatment, respectively. The observed difference in SVR rates was 3.9% (90% confidence interval: +1 to -8.8). The relapse rate was highest among those older than 40 years and those with genotype 3 and high viral load, but prolongation of treatment from 14 to 24 weeks did not reduce the relapse rate substantially in any of these groups. In patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection and RVR 14 weeks treatment is noninferior to 24 weeks.
 
Article
Conclusion: Although PNETs are rare malignancies, they should be considered in the differential diagnosis of submucosal gastric tumours in adolescents with clinical alarm symptoms.NET was confirmed by detection of the characteristic EWS/FLI-1 fusion gene, resulting in a reciprocal translocation t(11;22)(q24;q12). Three distinct liver metastases were detected by CT, MRI, and PET. The tumour failed to respond to neoadjuvant polychemotherapy with vincristine, etoposide, doxorubicin, and ifosfamide. Subtotal gastrectomy was performed and, surprisingly, we found diffuse metastatic infiltration of the liver that had not been detected by preoperative staging. Due to the diffuse metastatic disease the young patient's prognosis has to be considered very poor. Because of the tumour's intense expression of CD117 (c-kit), the patient is now treated with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib (STI571).
 
Article
Transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB) is usually performed when a percutaneous liver biopsy (PLB) is contraindicated. TJLB is an invasive procedure and the patient's tolerance may be variable. To compare patient tolerance and quality of the biopsy sample between PLB and TJLB. A total of 143 patients underwent a liver biopsy; of these, 75 underwent TJLB and 68 underwent PLB. To evaluate patient tolerance, we used a visual analog scale that scored the intensity of the symptoms. The length of the biopsy sample and the total number of portal tracts per biopsy were also determined for assessment of biopsy quality. The biopsy sample length was similar in both groups (18.88±8.83 mm on PLB vs. 18.26±10.30 mm on TJLB). No differences were found in the number of portal tracts between the two groups (10.43±8.25 on TJLB vs. 12±10.09 on PLB). Fewer complications were observed in the TJLB group compared with the PLB group (P=0.002).Further, higher degree of pain was reported by patients who underwent PLB compared with patients who underwent TJLB (3.18±3.17 vs. 1.19±2.07); as such, there was a greater need for analgesics on PLB. TJLB and PLB techniques provide similar quality of tissue samples; however, TJLB is less painful and therefore better tolerated by patients.
 
Article
Acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage is a common medical emergency, initially managed with inpatient care. Bleeding stops spontaneously in over 80% of cases, indicating that patients with low-risk upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage may be more optimally managed in the community, without the need for admission to hospital. To assess the safety of managing patients with low-risk upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage without admission to hospital. Prospective/retrospective study of all patients presenting to a UK teaching hospital with low-risk upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage who were managed without admission to hospital over 5 years. Low risk was defined as Glasgow Blatchford Score of 2 or less, age below 70 years, no other active medical problems, not taking warfarin and suspected nonvariceal bleed. Outcome measures were the need for intervention (blood transfusion, endoscopic therapy or surgery) and death. One hundred and forty-two patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and were managed without admission to hospital. No patients required endoscopic intervention, blood transfusion or surgery. The 28-day mortality was nil. Forty-one patients had normal endoscopic examination and 11 had significant endoscopic findings (peptic ulceration=10, oozing Mallory-Weiss tear=1) but did not require intervention. Patients presenting with a primary upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage aged below 70 years with a Glasgow Blatchford Score of 2 or less are at a low risk, and can be safely managed in the community.
 
Article
There are increasing indications for assessing Helicobacter pylori status by non-invasive means in dyspeptic patients. There is also increasing use of proton pump inhibitor therapy for dyspeptic disease. To determine the effect of proton pump inhibitor therapy on the accuracy of the [14C]urea breath test. [14C]Urea breath tests were performed in 20 H. pylori-positive and 13 H. pylori-negative dyspeptic patients before commencing omeprazole and after 4 weeks of treatment with 40 mg/day and then 6 months of treatment with 20 mg/day. Further studies were done in H. pylori-positive patients to examine the time course of the onset and resolution of the effect observed. False negative results occurred in 45% of the H. pylori-positive subjects after 4 weeks of omeprazole 40 mg/day and in 28% after 6 months of 20 mg/day. False positive results occurred in 15% of the H. pylori-negative subjects after 4 weeks of omeprazole 40 mg/day. In the H. pylori-positive subjects time course studies showed increasing suppression of the breath test result over the first 2-4 weeks of treatment. It took a similar time for the breath test result to recover after stopping treatment. There was no significant change in H. pylori IgG serology in the H. pylori-positive patients after 7 months of omeprazole treatment. Proton pump inhibitor therapy markedly impairs the accuracy of the [14C]urea breath test and, in particular, produces a high proportion of false negative results. The effect is dose related and may persist for 2-4 weeks after stopping therapy. Patients should be carefully questioned about recent proton pump inhibitor therapy before accepting a negative breath test result as reliable.
 
Top-cited authors
Thierry Poynard
  • Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Sorbonne University
Patrick Marcellin
  • Hôpital Beaujon – Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Nord Val de Seine
Christian Trepo
  • CHU de Lyon - Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse
Samuel S. Lee
  • FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
Gerhard Granditsch
  • University of Vienna