Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide. This cancer commonly arises against a background of chronic liver disease. As a result, a patient with HCC requires multidisciplinary care. Treatment options vary widely based on tumor burden and metastases. The most widely utilized staging system is the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging system, which recommends treatments based on tumor size and the underlying liver disease and functional status of the patient. Treatment options range from surgical resection or transplantation to locoregional therapies with modalities such as radiofrequency ablation and transarterial chemoembolization to systemic chemotherapies. Future care involves the development of combination therapies that afford the best tumor response, further clarification of the patients best suited for therapies and the development of new oral chemotherapeutic agents.
Carcinoma; hepatocellular; Transarterial chemoembolization; Radiofrequency ablation; Staging systems; Sorafenib
Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder that is commonly misdiagnosed initially as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Patients with achalasia often complain of dysphagia with solids and liquids but may focus on regurgitation as the primary symptom, leading to initial misdiagnosis. Diagnostic tests for achalasia include esophageal motility testing, esophagogastroduodenoscopy and barium swallow. These tests play a complimentary role in establishing the diagnosis of suspected achalasia. High-resolution manometry has now identified three subtypes of achalasia, with therapeutic implications. Pneumatic dilation and surgical myotomy are the only definitive treatment options for patients with achalasia who can undergo surgery. Botulinum toxin injection into the lower esophageal sphincter should be reserved for those who cannot undergo definitive therapy. Close follow-up is paramount because many patients will have a recurrence of symptoms and require repeat treatment.
Pneumatic dilation; Surgical myotomy; Peroral esophageal myotomy
Postprandial symptoms of fullness and abdominal discomfort are common after fatty meals. Gastric lipases hydrolyze 10% to 20% of dietary triglycerides during the stomach trituration period of digestion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of acid-resistant lipase on upper gastrointestinal symptoms, including fullness and bloating, as well as on gastric myoelectrical activity after healthy subjects ingested a high-fat, liquid meal.
This study utilized a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design with 16 healthy volunteers who ingested either a capsule containing 280 mg of acid-resistant lipase or a placebo immediately before a fatty meal (355 calories, 55% fat). Participants rated their stomach fullness, bloating, and nausea before and at timed intervals for 60 minutes after the meal. Electrogastrograms were obtained to assess the gastric myoelectrical activity.
Stomach fullness, bloating, and nausea increased significantly 10 minutes after ingestion of the fatty meal (p<0.01), whereas normal gastric myoelectrical activity decreased and tachygastria increased (p<0.05). With lipase, reports of stomach fullness were significantly lower compared with placebo (p<0.05), but no effect on gastric myoelectrical activity or other upper gastrointestinal symptoms was observed.
The high-fat meal induced transient fullness, bloating, nausea, and tachygastria in healthy individuals, consistent with post-prandial distress syndrome. Acid-resistant lipase supplementation significantly decreased stomach fullness.
Lipase supplementation; Gastric myoelectrical activity; Electrogastrography; Dyspepsia symptoms; Fullness; Acid-resistant lipase
Endoscopic resection (ER) of superficial esophageal neoplasm (SEN) is a technically difficult procedure. We investigated the clinical outcomes of ER for SEN to determine its feasibility and effectiveness.
Subjects who underwent ER for SEN at Asan Medical Center between December 1996 and December 2010 were eligible. The clinical features of patients and tumors, histopathological characteristics, adverse events, ER results and survival were investigated.
A total of 129 patients underwent ER for 147 SENs. En bloc resection (EnR) was performed in 118 lesions (80.3%). Complete resection (CR) was accomplished in 128 lesions (86.5%), and curative resection (CuR) was performed in 118 lesions (79.7%). The EnR, CR, and CuR rates were significantly greater in the endoscopic submucosal dissection group when compared to those in the endoscopic resection group. Adverse events occurred in 22 patients (17.1%), including bleeding (n=2, 1.6%), perforation (n=12, 9.3%), and stricture (n=8, 6.2%). Local tumor recurrence occurred in 2.0% of patients during a median follow-up of 34.8 months. The 5-year overall and disease-specific survival rates were 94.0% and 97.5%, respectively.
ER is a feasible and effective method for the treatment of SEN as indicated by favorable clinical outcomes.
Esophageal neoplasms; Treatment outcome; Endoscopic resection
Bismuth-containing quadruple and moxifloxacin-based triple regimens are recommended as second-line therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of each regimen.
From August 2004 to October 2012, a total of 949 patients (mean age, 54.32±12.08 years; male, 49.4%) who failed H. pylori eradication with a standard triple regimen were included. Patients treated with a bismuth-containing quadruple regimen for 7 and 14 days were designated as 7-BMT and 14-BMT, respectively, and those treated with a moxifloxacin-based triple regimen for 7 and 14 days were designated as 7-MA and 14-MA, respectively. H. pylori eradication was confirmed using the 13C-urea breath test, rapid urease test or histology.
The eradication rates by 7-BMT, 14-BMT, 7-MA, and 14-MA were 66.4% (290/437), 71.1% (113/159), 53.1% (51/96), and 73.5% (189/257), respectively, by intention-to-treat analysis (ITT) and 76.5% (284/371), 83.8% (109/130), 55.6% (50/90), and 80.6% (187/232), respectively, by per-protocol analysis (PP). The eradication rates were higher in 14-BMT than 7-BMT by the ITT and PP analyses (p=0.277 and p=0.082, respectively). The 14-BMT and 14-MA treatments showed similar efficacies by ITT and PP (p=0.583 and p=0.443, respectively).
The 7-BMT, 14-BMT, and 14-MA treatments showed similar and suboptimal efficacies. In both regimens, extending the duration of treatment may be reasonable considering the high level of antibiotic resistance in Korea.
Helicobacter pylori; Second-line therapy; Bismuth-containing quadruple regimen; Moxifloxacin-based triple regimen
The aims of this study were to investigate whether a broccoli sprout extract containing sulforaphane (BSES) inhibited the Helicobacter pylori infection density and exerted an antioxidative effect on gastric mucosal damage.
The enrolled subjects were randomized in a double-blinded manner into three groups. Finally, 33 H. pylori (+) BSES treatment subjects (group A), 28 H. pylori (+) placebo subjects (group B), and 28 H. pylori (−) BSES treatment subjects (group C) were studied. H. pylori infection density was indirectly quantified by a 13C-urea breath test (UBT), and the ammonia concentration in gastric juice aspirates was measured through gastroscopic examination. Malondialdehyde (MDA), an oxidative damage biomarker, and reduced glutathione (GSH), an antioxidant biomarker, were measured in the gastric mucosa by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
BSES treatment did not significantly affect the UBT values or ammonia concentration in group A (p=0.634 and p=0.505, respectively). BSES treatment did significantly reduce mucosal MDA concentrations in group A (p<0.05) and group C (p<0.001), whereas the gastric mucosal GSH concentrations did not differ before and after treatment in any of the groups.
BSES did not inhibit the H. pylori infection density. However, BSES prevented lipid peroxidation in the gastric mucosa and may play a cytoprotective role in H. pylori-induced gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori; Sulforaphane; Malondialde-hyde; Glutathione
We investigated whether sodium picosulfate with magnesium citrate (SPMC) plus bisacodyl compares favorably with conventional polyethylene glycol (PEG) with respect to bowel cleansing adequacy, compliance, and safety.
We performed a multicenter, prospective, single-blinded study in outpatients undergoing daytime colonoscopies. Patients were randomized into a split preparation SPMC/bisacodyl group and a conventional split PEG group. We compared preparation adequacy using the Boston bowel preparation scale (BBPS), ease of use using a modified Likert scale (LS), compliance/satisfaction level using a visual analogue scale (VAS), and safety by monitoring adverse events during the colonoscopy between the two groups.
A total of 365 patients were evaluated by intention to treat (ITT) analysis, and 319 were evaluated by per protocol (PP) population analysis (153 for SPMC/bisacodyl, 166 for PEG). The mean total BBPS score was not different between the two groups in both the ITT and PP analyses (p>0.05). The mean VAS score for satisfaction and LS score for the ease of use were higher in the SPMC/bisacodyl group (p<0.001). The adverse event rate was lower in the SPMC/bisacodyl group than in the PEG group (p<0.05).
The SPMC/bisacodyl treatment was comparable to conventional PEG with respect to bowel preparation adequacy and superior with respect to compliance, satisfaction, and safety.
Colonoscopy; Bowel preparation; Sodium picosulfate with magnesium citrate; Polyethylene glycols
Uninsured individuals have lower rates of screening colonoscopy (SC), and little is known regarding the pathology results obtained when they undergo colonoscopies. Since 2004, we have participated in a program that offers SC to uninsured New Yorkers; herein, we report our findings.
Uninsured, average-risk patients who were at least 50 years of age underwent SC at our institution between April 2004 and June 2011. We analyzed polyp pathology, location, size, incidence of adenomas, and incidence of adenomas with advanced pathology (AAP) with respect to ethnicity, gender, and age.
Out of 493 referrals, 222 patients completed the colonoscopies. Polyps were identified in 21.2% of all patients; 14% had adenomas, and 4.5% had AAP. The rates of adenomas among African-Americans, Hispanics, and Whites were 24.3%, 12.1%, and 11.6%, respectively, and the corresponding rates of AAP were 10.8%, 3.5%, and 2.3%. Differences in the polyp type, location, and AAP did not reach statistical significance with respect to ethnicity or gender. Patients aged 60 and older were found to have a higher rate of advanced adenomas compared with younger patients (8.6% vs 2.6%, p=0.047).
Further efforts to fund screening colonoscopies for uninsured individuals will likely result in the identification of advanced lesions of the colon before they progress to colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopy; Adenoma; Medically uninsured; Patient navigator; Minorities
To estimate the prevalence and evaluate the associated psychological factors of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in males in their twenties who are currently enrolled in military service.
A total of 1,073 men in the Korean army were asked to complete questionnaires based on the Rome III criteria and Symptom Checklist-90-revised (SCL-90R). The prevalence of FGIDs was estimated, and the associated psychological factors were evaluated.
A total of 967 men participated. The total prevalence of FGIDs was 18.5% (age-adjusted prevalence, 18.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 15.3% to 20.8%). The total SCL-90R scores were higher in men with FGIDs than men without FGIDs (24 [interquartile range, 13 to 44] vs 13 [5 to 28], p<0.001) and higher in men with overlapping syndromes than in those with single FGIDs (31 [18 to 57] vs 14 [5.75 to 29], p<0.001). Somatization (odds ratio [OR], 1.141; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.20; p<0.001), obsessive-compulsive behaviors (OR, 1.084; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.14; p=0.002) and depression (OR, 0.943; 95% CI, 0.90 to 0.99; p=0.020) were identified as independent predictive factors for FGIDs.
FGIDs are common among men in their twenties who are fulfilling their military duty. Somatization and obsessive-compulsive features from the tense atmosphere are associated with the development or progression of FGIDs. Patients who exhibit overlapping syndromes require greater attention given their more severe psychopathology.
Gastrointestinal diseases; Military; Psychologic factors
The T-helper 1 (TH1) immune reaction is essential for the eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during pegylated interferon α (PEG-IFN-α)- and ribavirin (RBV)-based therapy in chronic HCV patients. Secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1) was shown to be a crucial cytokine for the initiation of a TH1 immune response. We aimed to investigate whether SPP1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may influence sustained virological response (SVR) rates.
Two SNPs in the promoter region of SPP1 at the −443 C>T and −1748 G>A loci were genotyped in 100 patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection using a TaqMan SNP genotyping assay.
Sixty-seven patients achieved a SVR, and 33 patients showed no SVR. Patients carrying the T/T genotype at the −443 locus showed a significantly higher SVR rate than those carrying the C/T or C/C genotype (83.67% vs 50.98%, p<0.001). At the −1748 locus, the SVR rate was significantly higher in patients with the G/G genotype than in those with the A/A genotype (88.89% vs 52.63%, p=0.028) and in patients with the G/A genotype than in those with the A/A genotype (85.29% vs 52.63%, p=0.001).
SPP1 SNPs at −443 C>T and −1748 G>A loci may be useful markers for predicting the response to PEG-IFN-α-2b plus RBV therapy in Egyptian patients with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection.
Chronic hepatitis C; Interferons; Response; Secreted phosphoprotein 1; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a frequent cause of pediatric liver disease; however, the data on DILI are remarkably limited.
All 69 children hospitalized with DILI between January 2009 and December 2011 were retrospectively studied.
A total of 37.7% of the children had medical histories of respiratory infection. The clinical injury patterns were as follows: hepatocellular 89.9%, cholestatic 2.9%, and mixed 7.2%. Liver biopsies from 55 children most frequently demonstrated chronic (47.3%) and acute (27.3%) hepatitis. Hypersensitivity features, namely, fever (31.9%), rash (21.7%), and eosinophilia (1.4%), were found. Twenty-four children (34.8%) developed chronic DILI. Antibiotics (26.1%) were the most common Western medicines (WMs) causing DILI, and the major implicated herbs were Ephedra sinica and Polygonum multiflorum. Compared with WM, the children whose injuries were caused by Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) showed a higher level of total bilirubin (1.4 mg/dL vs 16.6 mg/dL, p=0.004) and a longer prothrombin time (11.8 seconds vs 17.3 seconds, p=0.012), but they exhibited less chronic DILI (2/15 vs 18/39, p=0.031).
Most cases of DILI in children are caused by antibiotics or CHM used to treat respiratory infection and present with hepatocellular injury. Compared with WM, CHM is more likely to cause severe liver injury, but liver injury caused by CHM is curable.
Pediatric; Hepatotoxicity; Diagnosis; Chinese herbal medicine; Liver biopsy
Several precut techniques have been used to gain biliary access for difficult cases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the success and complication rates of two precut techniques, transpancreatic septotomy (TPS) and needle knife infundibulotomy (NKI), in difficult biliary cannulation due to the presence of unintended pancreatic cannulation.
Eighty-six patients who failed standard biliary cannulation were included. TPS was performed when we failed to achieve biliary access despite 5 minutes of attempted cannulation or when more than three attempted unintended pancreatic cannulations occurred. If deep cannulation was not achieved within 5 minutes for any duct, NKI was performed. If this failed, we crossed over to the other technique in the second attempt.
The initial total success rate of biliary cannulation was 88.4% (86.6% for the TPS group and 94.7% for the NKI group, p=0.447). After crossover of the techniques, the final success rate was 95.3%. The complication rate was 20.9% in patients with TPS and 15.8% in patients with NKI (p=0.753).
The use of different strategies based on the presence of unintended pancreatic cannulation may help increase the success rate for difficult biliary cannulation without increasing complication rates.
Difficult biliary cannulation; Cholangiopancreatography; endoscopic retrograde; Needle knife infundibulotomy; Transpancreatic septotomy
Intraductal ultrasonography (IDUS) has been performed as an adjunct to endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) during radiocontrast cholangiography (RC). Radiation exposure during RC poses a health risk to both patients and examiners. We evaluated the feasibility of IDUS without RC in various extrahepatic biliary diseases.
IDUS was performed with the insertion of an IDUS probe from the papilla of Vater to the confluent portion of the common hepatic duct without fluoroscopy. The technical success rate and procedure-related complications were evaluated retrospectively.
Wire-guided IDUS without RC was performed in 105 patients. The mean age was 66.5 years, and 50 (47.6%) were male. The IDUS diagnoses included choledocholithiasis (73, 69.5%), benign biliary stricture (11, 10.5%), choledocholithiasis with biliary pancreatitis (9, 8.6%), bile duct cancer (5, 4.8%), pancreatic cancer (1, 0.9%), and others (6, 5.7%). After IDUS, 66 (62.8%) underwent stone removal, 19 (18.1%) underwent biliary drainage, and 7 (6.6%) underwent brush cytology and biopsy. No significant complications such as perforation or severe pancreatitis occurred.
IDUS without RC was a feasible and safe approach in patients with various extrahepatic biliary diseases. We anticipate a potentially important role of IDUS in various ERC procedures because it lacks the hazards of RC.
Intraductal ultrasonography; Radiocontrast cholangiography; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiography
Cholecystectomy is necessary for the treatment of symptomatic or complicated gallbladder (GB) stones, but oral litholysis with bile acids is an attractive alternative therapeutic option for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of magnesium trihydrate of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) on gallstone dissolution and to investigate improvements in gallstone-related symptoms.
A prospective, multicenter, phase 4 clinical study to determine the efficacy of orally administered magnesium trihydrate of UDCA and CDCA was performed from January 2011 to June 2013. The inclusion criteria were GB stone diameter ≤15 mm, GB ejection fraction ≥50%, radiolucency on plain X-ray, and asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic patients. The patients were prescribed one capsule of magnesium trihydrate of UDCA and CDCA at breakfast and two capsules at bedtime for 6 months. The dissolution rate, response rate, and change in symptom score were evaluated.
A total of 237 subjects were enrolled, and 195 subjects completed the treatment. The dissolution rate was 45.1% and the response rate was 47.2% (92/195) after 6 months of administration of magnesium trihydrate of UDCA and CDCA. Only the stone diameter was significantly associated with the response rate. Both the symptom score and the number of patients with symptoms significantly decreased regardless of stone dissolution. Adverse events necessitating discontinuation of the drug, surgery, or endoscopic management occurred in 2.5% (6/237) of patients.
Magnesium trihydrate of UDCA and CDCA is a well-tolerated bile acid that showed similar efficacy for gallstone dissolution and improvement of gallstone-related symptoms as that shown in previous studies.
Gallstones; Dissolution; Ursodeoxycholic acid; Chenodeoxycholic acid
IgG4-associated cholangitis can mimic hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Previously reported patients with IgG4-associated cholangitis mimicking cholangiocarcinoma had elevated serum IgG4 levels and long-segment biliary strictures. However, in the absence of other diagnostic criteria for malignancy, IgG4-associated cholangitis should remain a consideration among patients with normal serum IgG4 and a hilar mass suspicious for cholangiocarcinoma. The presence of a hilar mass and a malignant-appearing biliary stricture in two patients with normal serum IgG4 prompted further evaluation and subsequent concomitant liver and bile duct resection and reconstruction. The diagnosis of IgG4-associated cholangitis was established during the pathologic evaluation of the resected specimens. IgG4-associated cholangitis is a known imitator of hilar cholangiocarcinoma and should be considered in the differential diagnosis even among serologically IgG4-negative patients with a hilar mass prior to operative resection.
IgG4 cholangiopathy; Autoimmune cholangiopathy; Autoimmune pancreatitis; Biliary stricture; Hilar mass
Intraductal ultrasonography (IDUS) is one of the most useful diagnostic tools for various extrahepatic biliary diseases. However, conventional IDUS has some limitations in providing accurate cross-sectional imaging of the bile duct in patients with extensive pneumobilia. Using a balloon-sheathed catheter, the US system (balloon-sheathed IDUS) can overcome these limitations. Sixteen patients underwent balloon-sheathed IDUS during endoscopic retrograde cholangiography. The balloon-sheathed IDUS was inserted via a transpapillary route when visualization of the bile duct with conventional IDUS was distorted by extensive pneumobilia. The patient group had a mean age of 65.5 years, and 56.3% (9/16) were male. The balloon-sheathed IDUS permitted successful visualization of the bile duct in all patients, regardless of the extent of pneumobilia. Using this system, remnant common bile duct stones were detected in five patients (31.3%), and cholangiocarcinoma was detected in one patient (6.3%). The balloon-sheath IDUS aided in stone sweeping. No significant complications, including bleeding, perforation, or pancreatitis, occurred in any of the patients. The balloon-sheathed catheter US system was useful and safe for biliary IDUS in patients with extensive pneumobilia.
Common bile duct diseases; Intraductal ultrasonography
The guideline for the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was first developed in 2003 and revised in 2009 by the Korean Liver Cancer Study Group and the National Cancer Center, Korea. Since then, many studies on HCC have been carried out in Korea and other countries. In particular, a substantial body of knowledge has been accumulated on diagnosis, staging, and treatment specific to Asian characteristics, especially Koreans, prompting the proposal of new strategies. Accordingly, the new guideline presented herein was developed on the basis of recent evidence and expert opinions. The primary targets of this guideline are patients with suspicious or newly diagnosed HCC. This guideline provides recommendations for the initial treatment of patients with newly diagnosed HCC.
Carcinoma; hepatocellular; Management; Guidelines