Warfarin is a widely used anticoagulant. Interindividual differences in drug response, a narrow therapeutic range and the risk of bleeding render warfarin difficult to use clinically. An 18-year-old woman with antiphospholipid syndrome received long-term warfarin therapy for a recurrent deep vein thrombosis. Six years later, she developed right flank pain. We diagnosed intrahepatic and subgaleal hemorrhages secondary to anticoagulation therapy. After stopping oral anticoagulation, a follow-up computed tomography showed improvement in the hemorrhage. After restarting warfarin because of a recurrent thrombosis, the intrahepatic hemorrhage recurred. We decided to start clopidogrel and hydroxychloroquine instead of warfarin. The patient has not developed further recurrent thrombotic or bleeding episodes. Intrahepatic hemorrhage is a very rare complication of warfarin, and our patient experienced intrahepatic and subgaleal hemorrhage although she did not have any risk factors for bleeding or instability of the international normalized ratio control.
Warfarin; Liver; Subgaleal; Hemorrhage; Antiphospholipid syndrome
Endoscopic epinephrine injection is relatively easy, quick and inexpensive. Furthermore, it has a low rate of complications, and it is widely used for the management of nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding. There have been several case reports of gastric ischemia after endoscopic injection therapy. Inadvertent intra-arterial injection may result in either spasm or thrombosis, leading to subsequent tissue ischemia or necrosis, although the stomach has a rich vascular supply and the vascular reserve of the intramural anastomosis. In addition to endoscopic injection therapy, smoking, hypertension and atherosclerosis are risk factors of gastric ischemia. We report a case of gastric ischemia after submucosal epinephrine injection in a 51-year-old woman with hypertension and liver cirrhosis.
Hematemesis; Epinephrine; Gastric ischemia; Liver cirrhosis; Hypertension
AIM: To investigate the efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) using floxuridine (FUDR) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) confined to the liver.
METHODS: Thirty-four patients who had advanced HCC with unresectability or unsuccessful previous therapy in the absence of extrahepatic metastasis were treated with intra-arterial FUDR chemotherapy at our hospital between March 2005 and May 2008. Among the 34 patients, 9 patients were classified as Child class C, and 18 patients had portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). One course of chemotherapy consisted of continuous infusion of FUDR (0.3 mg/kg during day 1-14) and dexamethasone (10 mg on day 1, 4, 7 and 11), and this treatment was repeated every 28 d.
RESULTS: Two patients (5.9%) displayed a complete response, and 12 patients (35.3%) had a partial response. The tumor control rate was 61.8%. The median overall survival times were 15.3 mo, 12.4 mo and 4.3 mo for the patients who were classified as Child class A, Child class B and Child class C, respectively (P = 0.0392). The progression-free survival was 12.9 mo, 7.7 mo and 2.6 mo for the patients who were classified as Child class A, Child class B and Child class C, respectively (P = 0.0443). The cumulative survival differed significantly according to the Child-Pugh classification and the presence of PVTT. In addition to hepatic reserve capacity and PVTT, the extent of HCC was an independent factor in determining a poor prognosis. The most common adverse reactions to HAIC were mucositis, diarrhea and peptic ulcer disease, but most of these complications were improved by medical treatment and/or a delay of HAIC.
CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that intra-arterial FUDR chemotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for advanced HCC that is recalcitrant to other therapeutic modalities, even in patients with advanced cirrhosis.
Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy; Floxuridine; Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; Child-Pugh classification; Portal vein tumor thrombus
In December 2011, we reported an autochthonous case of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in a 42-year-old woman in Korea. The diagnosis was based on histopathological findings of the surgically resected liver cyst. In the present study, we evaluated the serological and molecular characteristics of this Korean E. multilocularis case. The patient's serum strongly reacted with affinity-purified native Em18 and recombinant Em18 antigens (specific for E. multilocularis) but negative for recombinant antigen B8/1 (reactive for Echinococcus granulosus). In immunoaffinity chromatography, the serum also strongly reacted with E. multilocularis and only weakly positive for E. granulosus. We determined the whole nucleotide sequence of cox1 (1,608 bp) using the paraffin-embedded cystic tissue which was compared with E. multilocularis isolates from China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Austria, France, and Slovakia. The Korean case showed 99.8-99.9% similarity with isolates from Asia (the highest similarity with an isolate from Sichuan, China), whereas the similarity with European isolates ranged from 99.5 to 99.6%.
Echinococcus multilocularis; alveolar echinococcosis; immunodiagnosis; cox1; South Korea
Sorafenib, a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has been shown to improve survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As the clinical use of sorafenib increases, many adverse effects have been reported, such as hand-foot skin reaction, diarrhea, anorexia, asthenia, alopecia, weight loss, hypertension and arterial thromboembolism. However, there are no prior reports of splenic infarction as an adverse effect of sorafenib. Here, a case of splenic infarction in a patient with HCC who was treated with sorafenib is reported. The patient had no other predisposing factors to explain the splenic infarction except for the administration of sorafenib. The splenic infarction improved after sorafenib was discontinued; however, the HCC progressed.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Sorafenib; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Adverse effects; Splenic infarction
Carnitine and vitamin complex (Godex®) is widely used in patients with chronic liver disease who show elevated liver enzyme in South Korea. The purpose of this study is to identify the efficacy and safety of carnitine from entecavir combination therapy in Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevated Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) patients.
130 treatment-naïve patients with CHB were enrolled from 13 sites. The patients were randomly selected to the entecavir and the complex of entecavir and carnitine. The primary endpoint of the study is ALT normalization level after 12 months.
Among the 130 patients, 119 patients completed the study treatment. The ALT normalization at 3 months was 58.9% for the monotherapy and 95.2% for the combination therapy (P<0.0001). ALT normalization rate at 12 months was 85.7% for the monotherapy and 100% for the combination group (P=0.0019). The rate of less than HBV DNA 300 copies/mL at 12 months was not statistically significant (P=0.5318) 75.9% for the monotherapy, 70.7% for the combination and it was. Quantification of HBsAg level was not different from the monotherapy to combination at 12 months. Changes of ELISPOT value to evaluate the INF-γ secretion by HBsAg showed the increasing trend of combination therapy compare to mono-treatment.
ALT normalization rate was higher in carnitine complex combination group than entecavir group in CHB. Combination group was faster than entecavir mono-treatment group on ALT normalization rate. HBV DNA normalization rate and the serum HBV-DNA level were not changed by carnitine complex treatment.
Hepatitis B; Carnitine; Entecavir
Hepatobiliary surgery has changed dramatically in recent decades with the advent of laparoscopic techniques. The aim of this retrospective study was to compare survival rates according to stages, adjusting for important prognostic factors.
A retrospective study of a 17-year period from January 1994 to April 2011 was carried out. The cases studied were divided into two time period cohorts, those treated in the first 9-years (n = 109) and those treated in the last 7-years (n = 109).
An operation with curative intent was performed on 218 patients. The 5-year survival rates according to the depth of invasion were 86% (T1), 56% (T2), 45% (T3), and 5% (T4). The number of cases of incidental gallbladder cancer found during 3,919 laparoscopic cholecystectomies was 96 (2.4%). Incidental gallbladder cancer revealed a better survival rate (P = 0.003). Iatrogenic bile spillage was found in 20 perforations of the gallbladder during laparoscopic cholecystectomies, 16 preoperative percutaneous transhepatic gallbladder drainages and 16 percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainages; only percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage patients showed a significantly lower survival rate than patients without iatrogenic bile spillage (P < 0.034). Chemoradiation appeared to improve overall survival (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis also revealed that time period, type of surgery, surgical margin, lymphovascular invasion, lymph node involvement, and chemoradiation therapy had significant effects.
This study found that the prognosis of gallbladder cancer is still determined by the stage at presentation due to the aggressive biology of this tumor. Early diagnosis, radical resection and appropriate adjuvant therapy can increase overall survival.
Gallbladder cancer; Laparoscopy; Prognosis
Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a hepatic disorder that resembles liver cancer, is a highly aggressive and lethal zoonotic infection caused by the larval stage of the fox tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis. E. multilocularis is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere; the disease-endemic area stretches from north America through Europe to central and east Asia, including northern parts of Japan, but it has not been reported in Korea. Herein, we represent a first case of AE in Korea. A 41-year-old woman was found to have a large liver mass on routine medical examination. The excised mass showed multinodular, necrotic, and spongiform appearance with small irregular pseudocystic spaces. Microscopically, the mass was composed of chronic granulomatous inflammation with extensive coagulation necrosis and parasite-like structure, which was revealed as parasitic vesicles and laminated layer delineated by periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stain. Clinical and histologic features were consistent with AE. After 8 years, a new liver mass and multiple metastatic pulmonary nodules were found and the recurred mass showed similar histologic features to the initial mass. She had never visited endemic areas of AE, and thus the exact infection route is unclear.
Echinococcus multilocularis; alveolar echinococcosis; hepatic; human
Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) is now widely accepted and is being increasingly performed. The present study describes our experience with LLR at a single center over an eight-year period.
This retrospective study enrolled 100 patients between October 2002 and February 2010. Forty-six benign lesions and 54 malignant lesions were included. The LLR performed included 58 pure laparoscopy procedures, 18 hand-assisted laparoscopy procedures and 24 hybrid technique procedures.
The mean age of the patients was 57 years; among these patients, 31 were over 65 years of age. The mean operation time was 220 minutes. The overall morbidity was 11% and the mortality was zero. Among the 20 patients with simple hepatic cysts, 50% unexpectedly recurred. Among the 41 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, 21 patients (51%) underwent preoperative radiofrequency ablation therapy or transarterial chemoembolization. During parenchymal-transection, 11 received blood transfusion. The width of the resection margins was under 0.5 cm in 11 cases (27%); 0.5 to 1 cm in 22 cases (54%) and over 1 cm in eight cases (12%). There was no port site seeding, but argon beam coagulation-induced tumor dissemination was observed in two cases. The overall two-year survival rate was 75%.
This study suggests that the applications for LLR can be gradually expanded when assuring that the safety and curability of LLR are equivalent to that of open liver resection.
Laparoscopic liver resection; Hepatic cyst; Hapatocellular carcinoma; Resection margin
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection usually progresses to chronic hepatitis, with rare cases of spontaneous viral eradication. We present herein four cases involving patients that were initially declared to have failed to respond to treatments, based on the presence of HCV RNA that was still detectable after completion of the standard treatment for chronic hepatitis C with genotype 2. However, the HCV RNA became undetectable, with a delayed response, after discontinuation of therapy. Two of the four patients were diagnosed as treatment failures after extended treatment, and the other two received no further treatment after the standard treatment. All four patients maintained a sustained virological response during the periodic follow-up after delayed viral clearance.
Delayed viral clearance; Chronic hepatitis C; Sustained virological response
Differential diagnoses of hepatic nodules include hepatocellular carcinoma, focal nodular hyperplasia, hepatic adenoma, regenerative nodule, focal fatty changes, and hemangioma. However, differentiation of these nodules can often be difficult. Hemangiomas are frequently encountered during ultrasonogram incidentally and can be diagnosed easily because they have an almost distinctive sonographic appearance: a homogeneous hyperechogenicity and discrete posterior acoustic enhancement. They also sometimes have atypical findings, for example an internal echogenicity including hypoechogenicity, heterogeneous echogenicity, hyperechoic rim, central hypoechogenicity due to various changes (e.g., internal hemorrhage, necrosis, thrombosis, myxomatous change, and fibrosis), and (rarely) calcification. We report herein the case of an atypical hemangioma presenting with a hypoechoic peripheral ring, mimicking a hepatic malignancy. To our knowledge, there have been no other reports demonstrating a cavernous hemangioma with a discrete hypoechoic ring and without a pseudocapsule.
Hemangioma; Hypoechoic ring; Hepatic malignancy; Ultrasonography
Use of adenoviruses as vehicle for gene therapy requires that target cells express appropriate receptors such as coxsakievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). We show here that CAR-deficiency in cancer cells, that limits adenoviral gene delivery, can be overcome by using adenovirus complexed with the liposome, Ad-PEGPE [1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(poly-ethylene glycol)-2000]. We first confirmed that CT-26 mouse colon cancer cells are deficient in CAR by RT-PCR, and then showed that CT-26 cells infected with Ad-GFP/PEGPE exhibited highly enhanced expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP), compared with those infected with Ad-GFP. GFP expression depends on the dose of liposome and adenovirus. Luciferase expression in livers treated with Ad-luc/PEGPE was about 1,000-fold less than those infected with Ad-luc. In a liver metastasis mouse tumor model developed by intrasplenic injection of CT-26 cells, luciferase expression following i.v. injection of Ad-luc/PEGPE was significantly higher in tumors than in adjacent non-neoplastic liver. Following systemic administration of Ad-GFP/PEGPE, GFP expression increased in tumors more than in adjacent liver while the reverse was true following administration of Ad-GFP. In the latter case, GFP expression was higher in liver than in tumors. This study demonstrates that systemic delivery of PEGPE-adenovirus complex is an effective tool of adenoviral delivery as it overcomes limitation due to CAR deficiency of target cells while reducing hepatic uptake and enhancing adenoviral gene expression in tumors.
adenovirus; CXADR protein, human; gene therapy; gene transfer techniques; liposomes; models, animal
Combination therapy with inteferon-alpha and ribavirin is an approved therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C. However, even with the use of pegylated interferon, response rates are still poor in many difficult-to-treat groups, especially with genotype 1 and high viral loads. Retreatment of these patients remains challenging. Newer combinations are being investigated to optimize chances of attaining a sustained response in these groups. Thymosin alpha 1 is a polypeptide with immunomodulatory properties that has been suggested to increase response rates in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Herein, we describe two cases of retreatment patients with chronic hepatitis C who have failed prior pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy. They received triple combination therapies of thymosin alpha 1, pegylated interferon and ribavirin and achieved sustained virological responses. These cases support that thymosin-alpha 1 may increase the efficacy of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin in the treatment of non-responders to previous combination therapy.
Chronic hepatitis C; Nonrespondents; Peginterferon alpha-2a; Ribavirin; Thymosin alpha 1 Introduction
While gastric variceal bleeding (GVB) is not as prevalent as esophageal variceal bleeding, it is reportedly more serious, with high failure rates of the initial hemostasis (>30%), and has a worse prognosis than esophageal variceal bleeding. However, there is limited information regarding hemostasis and the prognosis for GVB. The aim of this study was to determine retrospectively the clinical outcomes of GVB in a multicenter study in Korea.
The data of 1,308 episodes of GVB (males:females=1062:246, age=55.0±11.0 years, mean±SD) were collected from 24 referral hospital centers in South Korea between March 2003 and December 2008. The rates of initial hemostasis failure, rebleeding, and mortality within 5 days and 6 weeks of the index bleed were evaluated.
The initial hemostasis failed in 6.1% of the patients, and this was associated with the Child-Pugh score [odds ratio (OR)=1.619; P<0.001] and the treatment modality: endoscopic variceal ligation, endoscopic variceal obturation, and balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration vs. endoscopic sclerotherapy, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, and balloon tamponade (OR=0.221, P<0.001). Rebleeding developed in 11.5% of the patients, and was significantly associated with Child-Pugh score (OR=1.159, P<0.001) and treatment modality (OR=0.619, P=0.026). The GVB-associated mortality was 10.3%; mortality in these cases was associated with Child-Pugh score (OR=1.795, P<0.001) and the treatment modality for the initial hemostasis (OR=0.467, P=0.001).
The clinical outcome for GVB was better for the present cohort than in previous reports. Initial hemostasis failure, rebleeding, and mortality due to GVB were universally associated with the severity of liver cirrhosis.
Gastric variceal bleeding; Rebleeding; Mortality; Cirrhosis