Review Article

Association between celiac disease and chronic hepatitis C

Giovanni Casella, Davide Viganò, Carlo Romano Settanni, Olivia Morelli, Vincenzo Villanacci, Vittorio Baldini, Gabrio Bassotti

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 153-157

Celiac disease is characterized by a gluten-induced damage of the small bowel in sensitive individuals that may cause malabsorption. Non-intestinal inflammatory diseases may trigger immunologic gluten intolerance in susceptible people and the HCV virus may be considered as a suitable candidate. Interferon therapy could precipitate symptom onset in subjects with silent celiac disease. In fact, symptoms such as diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss may occur during interferon therapy and are associated with serological positivity of anti-tranglutaminase antibodies. To date, considering the available literature data, it is very difficult to support a firm association between HCV chronic hepatitis and celiac disease. Thus, such a serological screening in HCV patients before starting interferon therapy should not be recommended. However, serology for celiac disease must be considered in patients who develop diarrhea and/or weight loss during such therapy. 

Metabolomic analysis of human cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis diseases

Akram Safaei, Afsaneh Arefi Oskouie, Seyed Reza Mohebbi, Mostafa Rezaei-Tavirani, Mohammad Mahboubi, Maryam Peyvandi, Farshad Okhovatian, Mona Zamanian-Azodi

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 158-173

Metabolome analysis is used to evaluate the characteristics and interactions of low molecular weight metabolites under a specific set of conditions. In cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatotic hepatitis (NASH) the liver does not function thoroughly due to long-term damage. Unfortunately the early detection of cirrhosis, HCC, NAFLD and NASH is a clinical problem and determining a sensitive, specific and predictive novel method based on biomarker discovery is an important task. On the other hand, metabolomics has been reported as a new and powerful technology in biomarker discovery and dynamic field that cause global comprehension of system biology. In this review, it has been collected a heterogeneous set of metabolomics published studies to discovery of biomarkers in researches to introduce diagnostic biomarkers for early detection and the choice of patient-specific therapies.

Original Article

Creation of a murine orthotopic hepatoma model with intra-abdominal metastasis

Jamie Harris, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla, Bill Chiu

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 174-179

Aim: To create an orthotopic hepatoma model with local metastasis monitored with ultrasound could be created as a platform for testing new treatments.

 Background: Hepatoma accounts for 25% of liver tumors in children with poor overall survival. Intraabdominal metastasis are present in 35% of patients at time of diagnosis.  We hypothesized that an orthotopic tumor model with local metastasis could be created as a platform for testing treatment modalities and could be monitored with ultrasound.

Patients and methods: One million human hepatoma cells (Hep3B) were injected into the left lobe of the liver of immunocompromised mice.  Tumor volume was monitored with high frequency-ultrasound until it reached 1,000mm3. At that time animals were sacrificed and examined for gross metastatic disease. Tumor sections were analyzed with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining.

Results: Tumor formed in 8/15 mice. The tumor was detected  as small as 19.59mm3 on ultrasound.  Of the forming tumors, tumor size was 145±177.93mm3 at 60 days post-injection, 665±650.39mm3 at 67 days, and reached >1000mm3 by 76.6±9.9 days.   At necropsy, four mice (50%) had tumor only within the liver, four (50%) had additional tumors in omentum, pelvis and peritoneum. H&E showed tumor within the normal liver parenchyma, with multiple mitotic figures, small areas of necrosis, and hemorrhage within the tumor.

Conclusion: We have successfully established an orthotopic hepatoma murine model, with a local metastatic rate of 50%.  Non-invasive tumor monitoring is feasible via ultrasound. 

Changes in portal blood flow and liver functions in cirrhotics during Ramadan fasting in the summer; a pilot study

Salem Mohamed, Mohamed Emara, Hala Hussien, Hany Elsadek

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 180-188

Aim: Assessment of short term changes in portal blood flow and long term changes in liver functions in cirrhotic patients who chose to fast during the month of Ramadan in summer.

Background: During Ramadan, healthy Muslims obligated to fast from predawn to sunset.

Patients and methods: Forty cirrhotic patients intended to fast during the month of Ramadan in the year 2014, were examined by Congestion index (CI) as a non-invasive indicator of short term changes in the portal blood flow, while liver function tests were determined as an indicator of long term changes in liver functions.

Results: A total of 38 patients completed the whole month fasting and two patients discontinued fasting due to variceal bleeding. The complicated patients were 7. CI showed a statistically significant increase from fasting to postprandial status (P <0.001), with statistically significant increases from fasting to postprandial status in Child class A (P <0.001), and B (P <0.001). We did not find a statistical significance between patients with complications and those without complications (P = 0.6). There was a statistically significant rise in the serum bilirubin after Ramadan. Deterioration noticed as advanced Child classes, development of lower limb edema, increasing ascites, increasing jaundice and overt encephalopathy.

Conclusion: Cirrhotic patients showed significant short-term changes in the portal blood flow. However, these changes are not linked to complications or deterioration of liver functions and accommodated especially in patients with Child class A and B.  Child class C patients should not fast. 

Postoperative pain relief after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: intraperitoneal sodium bicarbonate versus normal saline

Karim Saadati, Mohammad Reza Razavi, Salman Nazemi, shahrzad Izadi

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 189-196

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of sodium bicarbonate irrigation versus normal saline irrigation in patients undergoing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

 Background: Pain in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common complaint, especially in the abdomen, back, and shoulder region.

Patients and methods: In a double blind randomized clinical trial, 150 patients were assigned to the three groups (50 patients in each group). Group A received intraperitoneal irrigation normal saline (NS). Groups B and C received irrigation sodium bicarbonate and none irrigation, respectively. Pain was assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS) for 6, 18 and 24 hours postoperatively, as well as one week after the surgery. Data analysis was performed using SPSS ver18 and chi-square, Fisher’s Exact Test, on-way ANOVA and repeated measure ANOVA tests.

Results: Patients in groups showed no significant difference in terms of age, gender, past medical history and smoking history (p>0.05). Left shoulder tip pain was significantly lower only between the sodium bicarbonate group and non-washing group at 6, 18, and 24 hours postoperatively (P=0.04, P=0.02 and P=0.009 respectively). There was no significant difference between the three treatment groups in right shoulder tip pain, back pain and port site incisional pain.

Conclusion: In laparoscopic cholecystectomy, peritoneal irrigation with sodium bicarbonate may reduce the intensity of postoperative shoulder tip pain and is an effective method for improving the quality of life within the early recovery period. 

Synthesis and evaluation of multi-wall carbon nanotube–paclitaxel complex as an anti-cancer agent

Fariba Ghasemvand, Esmaeil Biazar, Sara Tavakolifard, Mohammad Khaledian, Saeid Rahmanzadeh, Daruosh Momenzadeh, Roshanak Afroosheh, Faezeh Zarkalami, Marjan Shabannezhad, Saeed Hesami Tackallou, Nilofar Massoudi, Saeed Heidari Keshel

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 196-204

Aim: The aim of this study is to design multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) loaded with paclitaxel (PTX) anti-cancer drug and investigate its anti-cancerous efficacy of human gastric cancer. The sidewall surfaces of pristine MWCNTs are highly hydrophobic. A major goal in carbon nanotube chemistry has been functionalization for aqueous solubility, and exploiting nano-tubes as macromolecules for chemistry, biology, and medicine application. This work establishes a novel, easy to-make formulation of a MWCNT– paclitaxel complex with high drug loading efficiency. Therefore, new opportunities in medicine  develop novel effective tumor drug delivery systems.

 Background: Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) represent a novel nano-materials applied in various fields such as drug delivery due to their unique chemical properties and high drug loading.

Patients and methods: In this study, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) pre-functionalized covalently with a paclitaxel (PTX) as an anti-cancer drug and evaluated by different analyses including, scanning electron microscope (SEM), particle size analyzer and cellular analyses.

Results: A well conjugated of anti-cancer drug on the carbon nanotube surfaces was shown. This study demonstrates that the MWCN-PTX complex is a potentially useful system for delivery of anti-cancer drugs. The flow cytometry, CFU and MTT assay results have disclosed that MWCNT/PTXs might promote apoptosis in MKN-45 gastric adenocarcinoma cell line.

Conclusion: According to results, our simple method can be designed a candidate material for chemotherapy. It has presented a few bio-related applications including, their successful use as a nano-carriers for drug transport. 

Molecular diagnosis and anti-microbial resistance patterns among Shigella spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea

Hossein Hosseini Nave, Shahla Mansouri, Amin Sadeghi, Mohammad Moradi

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 205-210

Aim: This study aims to determine the serogroup distribution and molecular diagnosis, as well as antimicrobial resistance profiles among Shigella spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea in Kerman, southeast of Iran.

 Background: Shigella species are frequent cause of bacterial dysentery worldwide. Previous studies have been reported that S. sonnei and S. flexneri are the most prevalent serogroups in various parts of Iran.

Patients and methods: A total of 624 stool samples were randomly collected from patients with diarrhea from June 2013 to August 2014. Biochemical and serological characterizations were performed for identifying Shigella spp. In addition, the multiplex PCR assay was carried out for the detection and differentiation of three pathogenic Shigella spp. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed according to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines.

Results: Fifty six (9%) Shigella strains were isolated from stool samples. The most common species were S. flexneri 31(55.4%), followed by S .sonnei 18(32.1%) and S. boydii 7(12.5%). S. dysentery was not detected in the present study. All the isolates that identified by serological test as Shigella spp. were confirmed by the multiplex PCR method. The highest rate of resistance was observed for ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole antibiotics with 52(92.9%) resistant, followed by tetracycline 44(78.6%) and cefotaxime 33(58.9%). All Shigella isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin. A significant relationship was found between the Shigella species and cefotaxime resistance (p<0.05).

Conclusion: S. flexneri was found as the most prevalent serogroup causing shigellosis. The high rate of resistance to third-generation cephalosporins limits the treatment options available for the management of shigellosis in Kerman, Iran. 

Brief Report

Pregnancy with Autoimmune Hepatitis

António Braga, Carlos Vasconcelos, Jorge Braga

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 220-224

Aim: The aim of this study was to review our experience with gestations in autoimmune hepatitis patients.

Background: There are only limited data describing pregnancy in patients with autoimmune hepatitis.

Patients and methods: Retrospective analysis of pregnancies with autoimmune hepatitis followed in Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Portugal in the last ten years.

Results: We reported nine pregnancies in seven patients with autoimmune hepatitis. Two patients had documented liver cirrhosis prior to the pregnancy. In this study, 66.7% of patients were treated with azathioprine and 88.9% with prednisolone. Clinical improvements were observed in 11.1% of pregnancies and 22.2% exacerbations were diagnosed. There were six live births and two preterm deliveries (preterm delivery rate of 33%). We also report three first trimester miscarriages (early gestation miscarriage rate of 33%).  There were no neonatal or maternal deaths.

Conclusion: The favorable obstetric outcome is a realistic expectation in patients with autoimmune hepatitis. Tight monitoring and control of asymptomatic and unpredictable exacerbations, which are unrelated to the severity of the underlying disease, are essential to the prognosis of the current pregnancy. 

Clinical characteristics and response to therapy of autoimmune hepatitis in an urban Latino population

Ayesha Zahiruddin, Abtin Farahmand, Paul Gaglio, Hatef Massoumi

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 225-230

Aim: We hypothesized that AIH outcomes might be different in our patient population that consists of a large number of Latinos.

 Background: Literature has suggested that the presentation and outcome of autoimmune hepatitis can be different among different ethnicity and communities.

 Patients and methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of Latino patients with AIH diagnosed between 2002-2012. Complete and partial remissions were defined as normalization of liver enzyme values, or achieving less than twice the upper limit normal (ULN), respectively.

Results: A total of 28 patients were identified. 26 (93%) were female. 13 (46%) had an acute presentation, one with type 2 AIH and 3 with ANA seronegative disease. The average pathologic stage (Ishak score) was 3.44±1.67 (range: 0-6). Complete and partial remission was achieved in 20 (71%) and 5 (18%) patients respectively. Ten patients (38%) required maintenance prednisone either alone (2), or in combination with Azathioprine (6) or Mycophenolate Mofetil (2). Remission in the majority of patients, including 14 (50%) who were cirrhotic. Six of 14 (43%) cirrhotic patients were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.

Conclusion: In an urban Latino population, cirrhosis was the initial presentation of AIH in a significant percentage of patients raising concerns regarding insufficient screening for AIH in this patient population.  A large number of patients required continuous prednisone to avoid relapse.  

Letter to Editor

Case Series

Development of systemic sclerosis in patients with autoimmune hepatitis: an emerging overlap syndrome

Roberto Assandri, Marta Monari, Alessandro Montanelli

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench, Vol. 9 No. 3 (2016), 20 June 2016, Page 211-219

Aim: We described two case reports of AIH/SSc overlap syndrome and reviewed literatures regarding this issue.

 Background: AIH is a chronic hepatitis of unknown aetiology characterized by continuing hepatocellular necrosis and inflammation. AIH overlap syndromes have been reported with other autoimmune diseases.

Patients and methods: According to the classification criteria for SSc, we conducted a retrospective chart review of 35 cases with biopsy-proven AIH over the past 5 years at our institution. We reviewed the MEDLINE database using the appropriate key-words.

Results: A chart review of 35 cases (M/F ratio 1:2, mean age 47.6±10.3 years) revealed nine patients (9/35, 25.7%) with CTD (four males and three females with a mean age of 45.1±8.4 years). All patients had ANA. Four patients were SSA/Ro positive UCTD (1/35, 2.85%), and six patients developed SLE (6/35, 17.1%). Only two female patients (2/35, 5.7%) with specific SSc AAb developed a systemic sclerosis. We described a patient with AIH who was diagnosed with diffuse systemic sclerosis-sine scleroderma with positive anti-centromere B and SSA/Ro52 KDa antibodies. We also reported a patient with AIH who was diagnosed limited SSc with contemporary presence of anti-centromere A and anti-RNA polymerase III antibody.

Conclusion: We suggest that SSc may be considered to be one of the manifestations associated with AIH. Patients with AIH may have an increased risk to develop SSc and should be followed, especially when Raynaud phenomenon was found. 

Clinical Quiz

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