Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Test Predicts Risk Of Liver Scarring After Transplant, Study Shows

Date:
October 6, 2005
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine may have found a way to identify liver transplant patients with hepatitis C who are at greatest risk for advanced cirrhosis, thereby allowing doctors to decide who should receive treatment that could save the transplanted organ.

CHAPEL HILL -- An estimated 20 percent of people with chronichepatitis C who receive a liver transplant will develop advancedcirrhosis, scarring of the new organ severe enough to impair itsability to function normally within five years of transplantation.

Related Articles


A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Schoolof Medicine may have found a way to identify those at greatest risk,thereby allowing doctors to decide who should receive treatment thatcould save the transplanted organ. The new findings appear in theOctober issue of the journal Liver Transplantation.

The research found a laboratory test that shows activation of a certaintype of liver cell -- hepatic stellate cells -- to be useful indetermining high risk for developing cirrhosis.

"Right now, there are no reliable tests for identifying the groupthat's at high risk," said lead author Dr. Mark W. Russo, assistantprofessor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology andHepatology at UNC. "The reason you want to identify that group isbecause there are some people who will not go on to develop cirrhosisfrom hepatitis C after liver transplant and the therapy has a lot ofside effects and is also very expensive."

This antiviral drug therapy is effective in only 10 percent to 30percent of liver transplant recipients, the research team reported.Moreover, side effects, including anemia, cause roughly the samepercentage of patients to stop the treatment.

Russo and collaborators from UNC and the University of Florida focusedon hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which normally store vitamin A in theliver. But they produce collagen and other proteins that can lead tofibrosis, or scarring, in patients infected with hepatitis C virus.

The research team hypothesized that a known valid biomarker of HSCactivation -- alpha smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) -- could predictwhich patients would later develop fibrosis.

The study involved 46 patients with hepatitis C virus who receivedliver transplants between 1997 and 2001. The patients were divided intotwo groups: those who developed advanced fibrosis within two years ofliver transplant and those who developed mild or no fibrosis in thesame period.

Liver tissue samples from four months, one year and two yearspost-transplant were scored in the laboratory for alpha-SMA. Theresults showed HSC activation to be significantly higher in thefour-month biopsies for those who developed advanced fibrosis withintwo years."These results are exciting because they suggest for the first timethat this biomarker could help us identify liver transplant recipientswith hepatitis C who are at high risk for progressing to advancedfibrosis. But it would be important to confirm this in a largerindependent, prospective study," Russo said.

###

UNC co-authors along with Russo include Dr. Michael Fried and Dr.Roshan Shrestha, professors of medicine within the Division ofGastroenterology and Hepatology; and Robert Schoonhoven, laboratoryresearch specialist in the UNC School of Public Health's department ofenvironmental sciences and engineering. Co-authors from the Universityof Florida include Dr. Roberto Firpi, clinical assistant professor ofmedicine, and Dr. David Nelson, assistant professor of medicine.

Support for the research came from the National Institute ofEnvironmental Health Sciences, a component of the National Institutesof Health.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Test Predicts Risk Of Liver Scarring After Transplant, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051006082752.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2005, October 6). Test Predicts Risk Of Liver Scarring After Transplant, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051006082752.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Test Predicts Risk Of Liver Scarring After Transplant, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051006082752.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins