M Margulies

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (4)30.21 Total impact

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2001 · Journal of Hepatology
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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.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2000 · Journal of Viral Hepatitis
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2000 · Hepatology
  • H Sim · J Wojcik · M Margulies · JA Wade · J Heathcote
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    ABSTRACT: The response to interferon (IFN) therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C is characterized by normalization of the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity during treatment, but relapse within 6 months of cessation of therapy is common. Viral characteristics, such as the genotype and viral load, may influence the patient response to IFN. The aim of this study was to examine host factors, namely the genetically determined human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II alleles, in patients with chronic hepatitis C, and their relationship to the response to IFN therapy. Seventy white patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated with IFN-alpha for 6 months, were enrolled in the study. Serum ALT was measured at the end of treatment to assess short-term response and again 6 months post-treatment to assess sustained response. Sequence-specific primers were used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify genomic DNA isolated from peripheral mononuclear cells. HLA class II alleles were determined by analysis of the amplicon by gel electrophoresis and hybridization of sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes. At the end of treatment, 25 of the 70 patients (36%) had a normal ALT. By 6 months post-treatment, only six patients (9%) had a sustained normalization of ALT. The frequency of the allele DRB1*0404 was significantly higher in patients with a sustained response as compared to those lacking such a response (25.0% vs 2.3%, with a Bonferonni-corrected P-value of 0.019). There was no difference in the frequency of other class II alleles at the DRB1 and DQB1 loci in responders as compared with non-responders. Therefore, we conclude that the maintenance of a response to IFN in chronic hepatitis C may be, in part, determined by genetic factors in the host.
    No preview · Article · Aug 1998 · Journal of Viral Hepatitis

Publication Stats

456 Citations
30.21 Total Impact Points


  • 1998-2000
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Medicine
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada