AIM: To conduct a bacterial culture study for monitoring decontamination of automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) after high-level disinfection (HLD).
METHODS: From February 2006 to January 2011, authors conducted randomized consecutive sampling each month for 7 AERs. Authors collected a total of 420 swab cultures, including 300 cultures from 5 gastroscope AERs, and 120 cultures from 2 colonoscope AERs. Swab cultures were obtained from the residual water from the AERs after a full reprocessing cycle. Samples were cultured to test for aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, and mycobacterium tuberculosis.
RESULTS: The positive culture rate of the AERs was 2.0% (6/300) for gastroscope AERs and 0.8% (1/120) for colonoscope AERs. All the positive cultures, including 6 from gastroscope and 1 from colonoscope AERs, showed monofloral colonization. Of the gastroscope AER samples, 50% (3/6) were colonized by aerobic bacterial and 50% (3/6) by fungal contaminations.
CONCLUSION: A full reprocessing cycle of an AER with HLD is adequate for disinfection of the machine. Swab culture is a useful method for monitoring AER decontamination after each reprocessing cycle. Fungal contamination of AERs after reprocessing should also be kept in mind.
Automated endoscope reprocessor; Gastrointestinal scope; High-level disinfection; Swab culture; Monitoring; Decontamination
AIM: To evaluate the effects of ginger on gastric motility and emptying, abdominal symptoms, and hormones that influence motility in dyspepsia.
METHODS: Eleven patients with functional dyspepsia were studied twice in a randomized double-blind manner. After an 8-h fast, the patients ingested three capsules that contained ginger (total 1.2 g) or placebo, followed after 1 h by 500 mL low-nutrient soup. Antral area, fundus area and diameter, and the frequency of antral contractions were measured using ultrasound at frequent intervals, and the gastric half-emptying time was calculated from the change in antral area. Gastrointestinal sensations and appetite were scored using visual analog questionnaires, and blood was taken for measurement of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), motilin and ghrelin concentrations, at intervals throughout the study.
RESULTS: Gastric emptying was more rapid after ginger than placebo [median (range) half-emptying time 12.3 (8.5-17.0) min after ginger, 16.1 (8.3-22.6) min after placebo, P ≤ 0.05]. There was a trend for more antral contractions (P = 0.06), but fundus dimensions and gastrointestinal symptoms did not differ, nor did serum concentrations of GLP-1, motilin and ghrelin.
CONCLUSION: Ginger stimulated gastric emptying and antral contractions in patients with functional dyspepsia, but had no impact on gastrointestinal symptoms or gut peptides.
Ginger (Zinger offinale); Functional dyspepsia; Gastric emptying; Antral contraction; Abdominal ultrasound; Ghrelin; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Motilin
AIM: To identify the predictors of rebleeding after initial hemostasis with epinephrine injection (EI) in patients with high-risk ulcers.
METHODS: Recent studies have revealed that endoscopic thermocoagulation, or clips alone or combined with EI are superior to EI alone to arrest ulcer bleeding. However, the reality is that EI monotherapy is still common in clinical practice. From October 2006 to April 2008, high-risk ulcer patients in whom hemorrhage was stopped after EI monotherapy were studied using clinical, laboratory and endoscopic variables. The patients were divided into 2 groups: sustained hemostasis and rebleeding.
RESULTS: A total of 175 patients (144, sustained hemostasis; 31, rebleeding) were enrolled. Univariate analysis revealed that older age (≥ 60 years), advanced American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) status (category III, IV and V), shock, severe anemia (hemoglobin < 80 g/L), EI dose ≥ 12 mL and severe bleeding signs (SBS) including hematemesis or hematochezia were the factors which predicted rebleeding. However, only older age, severe anemia, high EI dose and SBS were independent predictors. Among 31 rebleeding patients, 10 (32.2%) underwent surgical hemostasis, 15 (48.4%) suffered from delayed hemostasis causing major complications and 13 (41.9%) died of these complications.
CONCLUSION: Endoscopic EI monotherapy in patients with high-risk ulcers should be avoided. Initial hemostasis with thermocoagulation, clips or additional hemostasis after EI is mandatory for such patients to ensure better hemostatic status and to prevent subsequent rebleeding, surgery, morbidity and mortality.
Epinephrine injection; High-risk ulcers; Initial hemostasis; Predictors; Rebleeding
Although the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has declined in renal transplant recipients (RTRs), it remains a relevant clinical problem with high morbidity and mortality in long-term follow up. A thorough evaluation, including liver biopsy as well as assessment of HBV replication in serum (i.e. hepatitis B e antigen and/or HBV DNA) is required before transplantation. Interferon should not be used in this setting because of low efficacy and precipitation on acute allograft rejection. The advent of effective antiviral therapies offers the opportunity to prevent the progression of liver disease after renal transplantation. However, as far as we are aware, no studies have compared prophylactic and preemptive strategies. To date, the majority of RTRs with HBV-related liver disease have had a high virological and biochemical response to lamivudine use. However, lamivudine resistance is frequent with a prolonged course of therapy. Considering long-term treatment, antiviral agents with a high genetic barrier to resistance and lack of nephrotoxicity are suggested. The optimal strategy in RTRs with HBV infection remains to be established in the near future.
Hepatitis B; Renal transplantation; Lamivudine resistance
AIM: To elucidate the role of insulin resistance (IR) and serum adiponectin level in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with chronic hepatitis C.
METHODS: Clinical and biochemical characteristics were collected from 165 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed HCC. Homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) and serum adiponectin level were investigated in 188 patients with different stages of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
RESULTS: Among HCC patients, type 2 diabetics (DM) was more prevalent in HCV subjects (35.6%, n = 59) compared to hepatitis B virus (HBV; 12.7%, n = 63) or non-HBV, non-HCV cases (7.1%, n = 28). In patients with chronic hepatitis C, HCC subjects had higher blood sugar (P < 0.001), insulin level (P = 0.003) and HOMA-IR (P = 0.018) than those with chronic hepatitis and advanced fibrosis. Age, male sex and body mass index were significantly associated with serum adiponectin level, whereas HOMA-IR was not. Based on stepwise logistic regression analysis, age (OR: 1.124, P < 0.001), serum insulin level (OR: 1.585, P < 0.001), HOMA-IR (OR: 0.495, P = 0.001), DM (OR: 11.601, P = 0.002) and male sex (OR: 3.877, P = 0.016) were independently associated with HCC. This result was similar even if the diabetic subjects were excluded for analysis.
CONCLUSION: Insulin resistance measured by HOMA-IR, regardless of the presence of diabetes, is significantly associated with HCC development in patients with chronic HCV infection.
Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Insulin resistance; Diabetes; Adiponectin
Pneumatic dilation (PD) is considered to be the first line nonsurgical therapy for achalasia. The principle of the procedure is to weaken the lower esophageal sphincter by tearing its muscle fibers by generating radial force. The endoscope-guided procedure is done without fluoroscopic control. Clinicians usually use a low-compliance balloon such as Rigiflex dilator to perform endoscope-guided PD for the treatment of esophageal achalasia. It has the advantage of determining mucosal injury during the dilation process, so that a repeat endoscopy is not needed to assess the mucosal tearing. Previous studies have shown that endoscope-guided PD is an efficient and safe nonsurgical therapy with results that compare well with other treatment modalities. Although the results may be promising, long-term follow-up is required in the near future.
Esophagoscopy; Dilatation; Esophageal achalasia
Pneumatic dilation (PD) is considered to be a safe and effective first line therapy for achalasia. The major adverse event caused by PD is esophageal perforation but an immediate gastrografin test may not always detect a perforation. It has been reported that delayed management of perforation for more than 24 h is associated with high mortality. Surgery is the treatment of choice within 24 h, but the management of delayed perforation remains controversial. Hereby, we report a delayed presentation of intrathoracic esophageal perforation following PD in a 48-year-old woman who suffered from achalasia. She completely recovered after intensive medical care. A review of the literature is also discussed.
Intrathoracic esophageal perforation; Delayed presentation; Pneumatic dilation; Esophageal achalasia
The instrument channels of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes may be heavily contaminated with bacteria even after high-level disinfection (HLD). The British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines emphasize the benefits of manually brushing endoscope channels and using automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) for disinfecting endoscopes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effectiveness of decontamination using reprocessors after HLD by comparing the cultured samples obtained from biopsy channels (BCs) of GI endoscopes and the internal surfaces of AERs.
We conducted a 5-year prospective study. Every month random consecutive sampling was carried out after a complete reprocessing cycle; 420 rinse and swabs samples were collected from BCs and internal surface of AERs, respectively. Of the 420 rinse samples collected from the BC of the GI endoscopes, 300 were obtained from the BCs of gastroscopes and 120 from BCs of colonoscopes. Samples were collected by flushing the BCs with sterile distilled water, and swabbing the residual water from the AERs after reprocessing. These samples were cultured to detect the presence of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and mycobacteria.
The number of culture-positive samples obtained from BCs (13.6%, 57/420) was significantly higher than that obtained from AERs (1.7%, 7/420). In addition, the number of culture-positive samples obtained from the BCs of gastroscopes (10.7%, 32/300) and colonoscopes (20.8%, 25/120) were significantly higher than that obtained from AER reprocess to gastroscopes (2.0%, 6/300) and AER reprocess to colonoscopes (0.8%, 1/120).
Culturing rinse samples obtained from BCs provides a better indication of the effectiveness of the decontamination of GI endoscopes after HLD than culturing the swab samples obtained from the inner surfaces of AERs as the swab samples only indicate whether the AERs are free from microbial contamination or not.
Surveillance culture monitoring; Gastrointestinal scope; Automated endoscope reprocessor; High-level disinfection reprocessing
The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) increased with progression of hepatic fibrosis as assessed by liver stiffness measurement (LSM). This study used LSM to assess the risk of HCC presence in patients with chronic hepatitis.
The patients with liver tumor or chronic hepatitis indicated for biopsy were prospectively enrolled. LSM was performed on the same day as biopsy. The diagnostic performances of clinical parameters and LSM in predicting HCC presence were compared with the areas under receiver operating characteristics curves (AUROC). The risk of HCC presence was assessed with stratum-specific likelihood ratios (SSLR). The cut-off values and its diagnostic validity were calculated for LSM.
A total of 435 patients, including 106 HCC and 329 chronic hepatitis, were enrolled. The AUROC in predicting HCC presence was 0.736, 0.733, 0.594, 0.579 and 0.532 for LSM, alpha-fetoprotein, platelet count, total bilirubin, and aspartate aminotransferase–platelet ratio index, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed liver stiffness was an independent factor for HCC presence (odds ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–1.09). SSLR for HCC presence by liver stiffness was 0.43 (95% CI 0.32–0.57) in <12 kPa, 1.28 (0.89–1.84) in 12–24 kPa, and 5.94 (3.77–9.35) in >24 kPa. With 12 and 24 kPa as the cut-offs in predicting HCC presence, the sensitivity was 69.8 and 41.5%, respectively. The specificity was 69.6 and 92.7%, respectively.
LSM identified the risk group for HCC presence in chronic hepatitis patients and had high specificity in the prediction of HCC with the cut-off of 24 kPa.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Transient elastography; Liver stiffness measurement; Stratum-specific likelihood ratios (SSLR)
Synergy between radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and chemotherapy was demonstrated for liver malignancy. We assess the efficacy of intravenous pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) for RFA in patients with small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
This study was designed as a non-randomized control trial. Patients received either PLD (20 mg) intravenously before RFA, or standard RFA alone. Computed tomography was performed immediately and 4 weeks after RFA to obtain ablative diameter, area and volume for each tumor. The changes in ablation size were analyzed by paired images for each tumor. All patients were followed up regularly.
A total of 24 patients with 29 HCCs, including 12 patients with 16 tumors (mean 2.2 cm ± 0.9) in the PLD and RFA group, and 12 patients with 13 tumors (2.4 cm ± 0.5) in the RFA alone group, were enrolled. The ablative diameter, area and volume significantly decreased 4 weeks after RFA. The ablative volume decrease was significantly greater for the RFA alone group than for the combination group (26.1 vs. 12.1%, p = 0.018). The 3-year cumulative tumor progression and survival rates did not differ significantly between the two groups.
Intravenous PLD before RFA reduced contraction of ablative volume and might have no impact on tumor progression and survival in patients with small HCC after RFA.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiofrequency ablation; Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin
To assess the prevalence and clinical significance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and precore and core promoter mutations in Taiwan, a cohort of 200 Taiwanese chronic hepatitis B patients was analyzed. The HBV genotypes and sequences of the precore and the core promoter regions were determined in 66 asymptomatic carriers and 134 patients who had liver biopsy-verified chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. The HBV e-antigen (HBeAg)-negative patients had a higher frequency of mutations at core promoter nucleotides 1753 and 1773 and precore nucleotides 1846, 1896, and 1899 than HBeAg-positive patients. Among the 200 patients, the frequencies of genotype C, T1762 and A1764, C1753, T1766 and A1768, and A1896 mutations increased and the frequencies of T or G1752, T1773, G1799, and C1858 mutations decreased with advancing liver diseases. These factors were different between those with HBeAg-positive status and those with HBeAg-negative status. Based on multiple logistic regression analysis, the risk factors of liver cirrhosis for 200 patients were the presence of T1762 and A1764 mutations (odds ratio [OR] = 11.11; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.91 to 31.25; P < 0.001), age ≥35 years (OR = 3.42; 95% CI = 1.33 to 8.77; P = 0.011), and genotype C (OR = 2.87; 95% CI = 1.21 to 6.81; P = 0.017). Further categorical analysis found that 62.1% of patients with genotype C, T1762 and A1764 mutations and age ≥35 years had liver cirrhosis. None of the 55 patients infected with the genotype B, A1762 and G1764 wild type and age <35 years showed liver cirrhosis. In conclusion, our data suggest that pathogenic differences between HBeAg-positive and -negative patients may exist. In Taiwan, HBV genotype C and the T1762 and A1764 mutations may play a role in HBV-related liver cirrhosis, and these could serve as molecular markers for prediction of the clinical outcomes of chronic HBV patients.
Many studies have shown that high-dose proton-pumps inhibitors (PPI) do not further reduce the rate of rebleeding compared to non-high-dose PPIs but we do not know whether intravenous non-high-dose PPIs reduce rebleeding rates among patients at low risk (Rockall score < 6) or among those at high risk, both compared to high-dose PPIs. This retrospective case-controlled study aimed to identify the subgroups of these patients that might benefit from treatment with non-high-dose PPIs.
Subjects who received high dose and non-high-dose pantoprazole for confirmed acute PU bleeding at a tertiary referral hospital were enrolled (n = 413). They were divided into sustained hemostasis (n = 324) and rebleeding groups (n = 89). The greedy method was applied to allow treatment-control random matching (1:1). Patients were randomly selected from the non-high-dose and high-dose PPI groups who had a high risk peptic ulcer bleeding (n = 104 in each group), and these were then subdivided to two subgroups (Rockall score ≥ 6 vs. < 6, n = 77 vs. 27).
An initial low hemoglobin level, serum creatinine level, and Rockall score were independent factors associated with rebleeding. After case-control matching, the significant variables between the non-high-dose and high-dose PPI groups for a Rockall score ≥ 6 were the rebleeding rate, and the amount of blood transfused. Case-controlled matching for the subgroup with a Rockall score < 6 showed that the rebleeding rate was similar for both groups (11.1% in each group).
Intravenous non-high-dose pantoprazole is equally effective as high-dose pantoprazole when treating low risk patients with a Rockall sore were < 6 who have bleeding ulcers and high-risk stigmata after endoscopic hemostasis.
Intravenous proton-pump inhibitors; Peptic ulcer bleeding; Endoscopic hemostasis; Rebleeding; Rockall scores
Interferon-α/ribavirin combination therapy might promote hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance in patients dually infected with hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV/HCV), but the long-term effect remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the rate of and the factors associated with HBsAg seroclearance during long-term follow-up after interferon-α/ribavirin combination therapy in HBV/HCV dually-infected patients.
Eighty-one patients who received interferon-α/ribavirin combination therapy for 24 weeks with a follow-up period of >24 weeks were enrolled. HBV serological markers and HBV DNA were determined every 6 months. Early and late HBsAg seroclearance were defined as HBsAg loss in less or more than 6 months after end-of-treatment, respectively. Fifteen (18.5%) patients had HBsAg seroclearance during a mean follow-up period of 3.4 (0.5–5.1) years. The 5-year cumulative incidence was 25.6%. Baseline cirrhosis and HBV DNA negativity 1 year after end-of-treatment were independently predictive of HBsAg seroclearance with an odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 16.6, 1.8–153 and 9.2, 1.4–62.1, respectively, by Cox regression hazard analysis. Four patients developed early and 11 developed late HBsAg seroclearance, respectively. Cox regression hazard analysis showed no factor was associated with early HBsAg seroclearance, whilst HBV DNA negativity 1 year after end-of-treatment was the only significant factor predicting late HBsAg loss (OR, 43.0; CI, 2.5–745). Five patients had HBsAg seroconversion with a 5-year cumulative incidence of 8.3%. HBV DNA negativity at baseline and one year after EOT had a trend for HBsAg seroconversion. HCV response did not correlate to HBsAg loss.
We demonstrated that interferon-α/ribavirin had long-term effect on HBsAg seroclearance in dually HBV/HCV-infected patients. Baseline cirrhosis and seroclearance of HBV DNA 1 year after end-of-treatment were significant factors associated with HBsAg seroclearance.
The fact that prognoses remain poor in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma highlights the demand for suitable animal models to facilitate the development of anti-cancer medications. This study employed a relatively non-invasive approach to establish an orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma model in immune-competent rats. This was done by ultrasound-guided implantation of cancer cells and the model was used to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy.
Rat Novikoff hepatoma cells were injected percutaneously into the liver lobes of Sprague-Dawley rats under the guidance of high resolution ultrasound. The implantation rate and the correlation between dissected and ultrasound-measured tumor sizes were evaluated. A similar induction procedure was performed by means of laparotomy in a different group of rats. Pairs of tumor measurement were compared by ultrasound and computerized tomography scan. Rats with a successful establishment of the tumor were divided into the treatment (7-day low-dose epirubicin) group and the control group. The tumor sizes were non-invasively monitored by the same ultrasound machine. Blood and tumor tissues from tumor-bearing rats were examined by biochemical and histological analysis respectively.
Ultrasound-guided implantation of Novikoff hepatoma cells led to the formation of orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in 60.4% (55/91) of the Sprague-Dawley rats. Moreover, tumor sizes measured by ultrasound significantly correlated with those measured by calipers after sacrificing the animals (P < 0.00001). The rate of tumor induction by ultrasound-guided implantation was comparable to that of laparotomy (55/91, 60.4% vs. 39/52, 75%) and no significant difference in sizes of tumor was noted between the two groups. There was a significant correlation in tumor size measurement by ultrasound and computerized tomography scan. In tumor-bearing rats, short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy caused a significant reduction in tumor growth, and was found to be associated with enhanced apoptosis and attenuated proliferation as well as a decrease in the microvessel density in tumors.
Ultrasound-guided implantation of Novikoff hepatoma cells is an effective means of establishing orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in Sprague-Dawley rats. Short-term and low-dose epirubicin chemotherapy had perturbed tumor progression by inducing apoptosis and neovascularization blockade.