Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New advances in the management of patients with cirrhosis

Date:
April 25, 2013
Source:
European Association for the Study of the Liver
Summary:
New data from clinical studies provide new rationale for an old and established treatment option for portal hypertension. Additionally, spleen stiffness predicts the occurrence of clinical complications, which is of paramount importance in clinical practice.

New data from clinical studies presented for the first time at the International Liver Congress™ 2013 provide new rationale for an old and established treatment option for portal hypertension. Additionally, spleen stiffness predicts the occurrence of clinical complications, which is of paramount importance in clinical practice.

Related Articles


In patients with cirrhosis, increasing blood pressure in the abdominal circulatory system (known as portal hypertension) leads to potentially lethal complications which might be prevented with simple medical treatment. Patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension have increased gastrointestinal permeability which allows the movement of bacteria or bacterial components through the lining of the gut into the blood stream in a process known as bacterial translocation. Bacterial components such as lipopolysaccharide can be involved in the genesis of complications of cirrhosis.

The first study evaluated the effects of a non-selective beta-blocker (NSBB) on gastrointestinal permeability and bacterial translocation in patients with cirrhosis with high levels of portal hypertension.1 Patients with severe portal hypertension (HVPG* ≥20mmHg) had increased markers of gastrointestinal permeability and bacterial translocation compared to patients with lower levels of portal hypertension (HVPG<20mmHg). Treatment with NSBB significantly reduced HVPG, improved gastrointestinal permeability and decreased bacterial translocation (LPS-binding protein (LBP) -16% p=0.018; IL-6 -41% p< 0.0001) levels.

Patients who were found to have the highest levels of gastrointestinal permeability were also found to be at most risk of bleeding from esophageal varices; a complication of cirrhosis which carries a high risk of mortality.

These findings provide a new rationale for the use of non-selective beta-blockers in patients with cirrhosis. EASL's Treasurer Prof. Mauro Bernardi commented on the data: "The movement of bacteria from the gut and into the bloodstream is extremely serious and potentially fatal in patients with cirrhosis often leading to complications or death. Beta-blockers have been successfully used in a number of conditions and as a standard treatment to control blood pressure in other disease areas. In cirrhosis, they have been used for decades for primary and secondary prophylaxis of bleeding from esophageal varices. The results of this study show that besides improving portal hypertension, as it was thought up to now, their beneficial effects are also due to their ability to reduce bacterial translocation which may widen the indications for the use of these drugs in this setting."

In the diagnostic landscape, promising data to support the validity of non-invasive techniques were also presented at the congress. HVPG, an invasive measurement technique currently considered as the best predictor to identify progression to severe scarring of the liver and disrupted essential body functions (clinical decompensation), was compared to techniques such as the evaluation of spleen stiffness (SS) combined with the MELD** score.2  

The study showed that in compensated (early) patients with cirrhosis both the SS (p<0.0001) and the MELD (p=0.016) score provided an accurate prediction of clinical decompensation, and their combination in a new score had a predicting power even superior to that of HVPG.

Prof. Mauro Bernardi added, "HVPG is an invasive technique, which can often be discomforting for patients, is only performed in specialised centres and needs experienced operators to be fully reliable. While further studies will be required, if non-invasive techniques continue to present accurate predictions, they would be welcomed in the overall management of compensated patients with cirrhosis."

Notes

*HVPG or hepatic venous pressure gradient is the most widely used parameter for assessing portal hypertension

**MELD is a scoring system for assessing the severity of chronic liver disease

Compensated cirrhosis, where the body still functions fairly well despite scarring of the liver, is strongly associated with the development of portal hypertension.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Association for the Study of the Liver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Association for the Study of the Liver. "New advances in the management of patients with cirrhosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091610.htm>.
European Association for the Study of the Liver. (2013, April 25). New advances in the management of patients with cirrhosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091610.htm
European Association for the Study of the Liver. "New advances in the management of patients with cirrhosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130425091610.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
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