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1.  Presentation, Diagnosis and Outcome of Predominantly Hepatic Wilson's Disease in Adult Saudi Patients: A Single Centre Experience 
To evaluate the clinical manifestations, diagnostic features, disease course and response to treatment among Saudi adults with predominantly hepatic Wilson's disease. A retrospective cohort study of 40 adult patients diagnosed with predominantly hepatic Wilson's disease between 1994 and 2008 at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh was carried out.
Patients and Methods:
The diagnosis was based on varying combinations of clinical and laboratory evidence of liver disease, presence of Kayser Fleisher rings, low serum ceruloplasmin levels, elevated 24 hour urinary copper excretion and histopathological findings on liver biopsy.
The most frequent clinical presentation was decompensated chronic liver disease in 19 (47.5%), followed by chronic hepatitis in 15 (37.5%) and fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) in 5 (12.5%) patients. Eight (20%) patients with end-stage liver disease had liver transplantation, while 24 (60%) patients followed up on medical treatment for a variable period of 1-12 years showed clinical and laboratory improvement. One patient was lost early in follow up. Eight (20%) patients died during the study period, 5 with FHF, and 2 with advanced hepatic and neurological disease and one seven years after liver transplantation. Mortality rate was 100% in FHF without liver transplantation.
A predominantly hepatic Wilson's disease has varied clinical presentations with decompensated chronic liver disease being the most common among adult patients. Majority of the patients show stabilization of the disease on medical treatment. FHF in Wilson's disease has a grave prognosis without liver transplantation, the later remains a definitive treatment option for decompensated cirrhotics and patients with FHF.
PMCID: PMC3500023  PMID: 23006462
Adult; Hepatic Wilson's disease; diagnosis; outcome; presentation
2.  Intra-abdominal pressure and abdominal perfusion pressure in cirrhotic patients with septic shock 
Annals of Intensive Care  2012;2(Suppl 1):S4.
The importance of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and abdominal perfusion pressure (APP) in cirrhotic patients with septic shock is not well studied. We evaluated the relationship between IAP and APP and outcomes of cirrhotic septic patients, and assessed the ability of these measures compared to other common resuscitative endpoints to differentiate survivors from nonsurvivors.
This study was a post hoc analysis of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial in which mean arterial pressure (MAP), central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) and IAP were measured every 6 h in 61 cirrhotic septic patients admitted to the intensive care unit. APP was calculated as MAP - IAP. Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) was defined as mean IAP ≥ 12 mmHg, and abdominal hypoperfusion as mean APP < 60 mmHg. Measured outcomes included ICU and hospital mortality, need for renal replacement therapy (RRT) and ventilator- and vasopressor-free days.
IAH prevalence on the first ICU day was 82%, and incidence in the first 7 days was 97%. Compared to patients with normal IAP, IAH patients had significantly higher ICU mortality (74.0% vs. 27.3%, p = 0.005), required more RRT (78.0% vs. 45.5%, p = 0.06) and had lower ventilator- and vasopressor-free days. On a multivariate logistic regression analysis, IAH was an independent predictor of both ICU mortality (odds ratio (OR), 12.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.92 to 77.31, p = 0.008) and need for RRT (OR, 6.78; 95% CI, 1.29 to 35.70, p = 0.02). Using receiver operating characteristic curves, IAP (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.74, p = 0.004), APP (AUC = 0.71, p = 0.01), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score (AUC = 0.71, p = 0.02), but not MAP, differentiated survivors from nonsurvivors.
IAH is highly prevalent in cirrhotic patients with septic shock and is associated with increased ICU morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3390301  PMID: 22873420
liver cirrhosis; sepsis; compartment syndrome; septic shock; ascites; mortality.
4.  Efficacy and safety of treatment of hepatitis C virus infection in renal transplant recipients 
AIM: To assess the efficacy and safety of combined pegylated interferon and ribavirin therapy in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in renal transplant recipients.
METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review of post renal transplant patients who were positive for anti-HCV and HCV-RNA, and who have received treatment with combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin between October 2003 and December 2008. Only patients with stable graft function and absence of evidence of cirrhosis and who received the therapy for continuous 48 wk were included. Nineteen patients (13 male and 6 female) were identified and included. The patient’s complete blood count, liver and kidney profile, and calculated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) were monitored every 6-8 wk while on treatment. HCV-RNA was tested at 12 wk for early virological response, at 48 wk for end of treatment response (ETR), and then retested at 24, and 48 wk after completion of therapy for sustained virological response (SVR). Liver biopsies were obtained before treatment from all patients and graft kidney biopsies were performed as required.
RESULTS: Of the entire cohort, 9 patients (47.4%) showed an ETR and 8 had SVR (42.1%). Of the 8 patients with abnormal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels at baseline, 78.9% had their ALT normalized (including the virological non responders). ALT was normal in all responders at the end of therapy and at 24 wk post therapy (100%). Only one patient (5.3%) developed an increase in creatinine and decline in GFR from baseline towards the end of treatment. This patient’s kidney biopsy revealed borderline rejection. There was no impact on response by HCV-genotype, initial HCV RNA load, age or sex of the patient or duration post transplant before commencement of therapy. All patients tolerated treatment in the same way as non-transplant with no unusual or increased occurrence of side effects.
CONCLUSION: The combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin is effective in suppressing HCV-RNA, with a low risk of graft rejection or failure in HCV infected renal transplant recipients.
PMCID: PMC3251806  PMID: 22228971
Allograft rejection; Hepatitis C; Pegylated interferon; Ribavirin; Renal transplant
5.  Etomidate and mortality in cirrhotic patients with septic shock 
Clinical effects and outcomes of a single dose etomidate prior to intubation in the intensive care setting is controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association of a single dose effect of etomidate prior to intubation on the mortality of septic cirrhotic patients and the impact of the subsequent use of low dose hydrocortisone.
This is a nested-cohort study within a randomized double blind placebo controlled study evaluating the use of low dose hydrocortisone in cirrhotic septic patients. Cirrhotic septic patients ≥ 18 years were included in the study. Patients who received etomidate prior to intubation were compared to those who did not receive etomidate for all cause 28-day mortality as a primary outcome.
Sixty two intubated patients out of the 75 patients randomized in the initial trial were eligible for this study. Twenty three of the 62 intubated patients received etomidate dose prior to intubation. Etomidate use was not associated with all cause 28-day mortality or hospital mortality but was associated with significantly higher ICU mortality (91% vs. 64% for etomidate and controls groups, respectively; p = 0.02). Etomidate patients who received subsequent doses of hydrocortisone required lower doses of vasopressors and had more vasopressor-free days but no improvement in mortality.
In this group of septic cirrhotic patients with very high mortality, etomidate increased ICU mortality. Subsequent use of hydrocortisone appears to have no benefit beyond decreasing vasopressor requirements. The lowest mortality was observed in patients who did not receive etomidate but received hydrocortisone.
PMCID: PMC3295685  PMID: 22208901
6.  Efficacy of peginterferon α-2a and predictors of response in HBeAg-negative, genotype D-naive patients 
Hepatology International  2011;6(4):718-726.
Peginterferon (PEG-IFN) α-2a has been shown to induce a sustained virologic response (SVR) in 20–30% of “hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)”-negative patients.
To determine the safety and efficacy of PEG-IFN α-2a in HBeAg-negative, genotype D-naive patients and to analyze the predictors of response.
This prospective, multicenter, open-label, nonrandomized trial was conducted at four hospitals. A total of 35 consecutive HBeAg-negative naive genotype D patients received PEG-IFN α-2a for 48 weeks.
Based on a cutoff of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA <400 copies ml−1, an early virologic response (EVR) at week 12, end of treatment virologic response (ETVR) at week 48, and SVR at week 72 were achieved by 3 (9%), 9 (26%), and 8 patients (23%), respectively. The EVR rate improved to 43%, ETVR to 49%, and SVR to 57%, when a HBV DNA cutoff level of <20,000 copies ml−1 was used. Pretreatment HBsAg level was not a predictor for SVR on univariate analysis, but correlated with decline in HBV DNA levels at weeks 48 and 72. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, low body weight, high alanine aminotransferase (ALT), low HBV DNA, and low triglyceride levels were identified as baseline predictors of SVR.
HBeAg-negative genotype D-naive patients treated with PEG-IFN α-2a achieved SVR in 23 (HBV <400 copies ml−1) and 57% (HBV <20,000 copies ml−1) of patients, a better response than previously reported that might be related to the absence of drug resistance in these naive patients. Pretreatment predictors of SVR were low body weight, high ALT, low HBV DNA, and low triglycerides.
PMCID: PMC3734594  PMID: 23936583
HBeAg-negative; Genotype D; Peginterferon
7.  In-Hospital Mortality Among a Cohort of Cirrhotic Patients Admitted to a Tertiary Hospital 
To determine the mortality rate in a cohort of hospitalized patients with cirrhosis and examine their resuscitation status at admission.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients with cirrhosis who were admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2009.
We reviewed 226 cirrhotic patients during the study period. The hospital mortality rate was 35%. A univariate analysis revealed that worse outcomes were seen in patients with advanced age or who had worse child-turcotte-pugh (CPT) scores, worse model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores, low albumin and high serum creatinine. Using a multivariate analysis, we found that advanced age (P=0.004) and high MELD (P=0.001) scores were independent risk factors for the mortality of cirrhotic patients. The end-of-life decision were made in 34% of cirrhotic patients, and the majority of deceased patients were “no resuscitation” status (90% vs. 4%, P<0.001).
The relatively high mortality in cirrhotic patients admitted for care in a tertiary hospital, Saudi Arabia was comparable to that reported in the literature. Furthermore, end-of-life discussions should be addressed early in the hospitalization of cirrhotic patients.
PMCID: PMC3221112  PMID: 22064336
Cirrhosis; MELD score; mortality
8.  The incidence of venous thromboembolism and practice of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in hospitalized cirrhotic patients 
Thrombosis Journal  2011;9:1.
Cirrhotic patients are characterized by a decreased synthesis of coagulation and anticoagulation factors. The coagulopathy of cirrhotic patients is considered to be auto-anticoagulation. Our aim was to determine the incidence and predictors of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and examine the practice of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis among hospitalized cirrhotic patients.
A retrospective cohort study was performed in a tertiary teaching hospital. We included all adult patients admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009. We grouped our cohort patients in two groups, cirrhotic patients without VTE and cirrhotic with VTE.
Over one year, we included 226 cirrhotic patients, and the characteristics of both groups were similar regarding their clinical and laboratory parameters and their outcomes. Six patients (2.7%) developed VTE, and all of the VTEs were DVT. Hepatitis C was the most common (51%) underlying cause of liver cirrhosis, followed by hepatitis B (22%); 76% of the cirrhotic patients received neither pharmacological nor mechanical DVT prophylaxis.
Cirrhotic patients are at risk for developing VTE. The utilization of DVT prophylaxis was suboptimal.
PMCID: PMC3033790  PMID: 21244669
9.  Low-dose hydrocortisone in patients with cirrhosis and septic shock: a randomized controlled trial 
Recent studies have reported a high prevalence of relative adrenal insufficiency in patients with liver cirrhosis. However, the effect of corticosteroid replacement on mortality in this high-risk group remains unclear. We examined the effect of low-dose hydrocortisone in patients with cirrhosis who presented with septic shock.
We enrolled patients with cirrhosis and septic shock aged 18 years or older in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Relative adrenal insufficiency was defined as a serum cortisol increase of less than 250 nmol/L or 9 μg/dL from baseline after stimulation with 250 μg of intravenous corticotropin. Patients were assigned to receive 50 mg of intravenous hydrocortisone or placebo every six hours until hemodynamic stability was achieved, followed by steroid tapering over eight days. The primary outcome was 28-day all-cause mortality.
The trial was stopped for futility at interim analysis after 75 patients were enrolled. Relative adrenal insufficiency was diagnosed in 76% of patients. Compared with the placebo group (n = 36), patients in the hydrocortisone group (n = 39) had a significant reduction in vasopressor doses and higher rates of shock reversal (relative risk [RR] 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.98–2.55, p = 0.05). Hydrocortisone use was not associated with a reduction in 28-day mortality (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.92–1.49, p = 0.19) but was associated with an increase in shock relapse (RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.04–6.45, p = 0.03) and gastrointestinal bleeding (RR 3.00, 95% CI 1.08–8.36, p = 0.02).
Relative adrenal insufficiency was very common in patients with cirrhosis presenting with septic shock. Despite initial favourable effects on hemodynamic parameters, hydrocortisone therapy did not reduce mortality and was associated with an increase in adverse effects. (Current Controlled Trials registry no. ISRCTN99675218.)
PMCID: PMC3001503  PMID: 21059778

Results 1-9 (9)