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1.  Hepatitis B virus infection and renal transplantation 
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.
PMCID: PMC2923761  PMID: 20712048
Hepatitis B; Renal transplantation; Lamivudine resistance
2.  Insulin resistance is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C infection 
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.
PMCID: PMC2868220  PMID: 20458764
Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Insulin resistance; Diabetes; Adiponectin
3.  Delayed presentation of intrathoracic esophageal perforation after pneumatic dilation for 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.
PMCID: PMC2747072  PMID: 19764103
Intrathoracic esophageal perforation; Delayed presentation; Pneumatic dilation; Esophageal achalasia
4.  Comparison Stratagems of Post-Screening Management of Anti-HCV-Positive Community Residents: Simple Notification, Active Referral, or Accessible Medical Care 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126031.
To elucidate the results of post-screening care stratagems for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive subjects in the community. Part I methods: The intervention program: A total of 151,790 subjects underwent a large-scale healthcare screening. Subjects aged less than 65 years, with anti-HCV-positive and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level more than 80 IU/L were followed-up to answer a structured questionnaire. Those responders who met the reimbursement criteria of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance for anti-HCV treatment were referred for treatment. Part II: The accessible medical care program: In Yujing township, 271 HCV residents who have been screened before were invited to a bi-weekly hepatitis clinic in Yujing health center. Part-I results: A total of 907 anti-HCV-positive subjects responded and 197(21.7%) were advised the treatment, but only 83(9.2%) did. Finally, 47 patients achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). After this intervention program, 96(10.6%) additional patients were encouraged to be referred, 33(3.6%) received treatment and 20 obtained a SVR. Part II: A total of 140(51.7%) subjects responded and 112 were anti-HCV-positive including 31(27.7%) HCV RNA-negative, 49(43.8%) HCV RNA-positive plus ALT less than 40 IU/L and 32(28.5%) HCV RNA-positive plus ALT more than 40 IU/L. During the follow-up, 14 of 49 patients had ALT more than 40 IU/L. Among 46 eligible HCV patients, 15(32.6%) received treatment and 10 achieved a SVR. Simple notification only made 9.2% of the screened HCV patients treat. Active referral could encourage additional 3.6% to be treated. Additionally, accessible medical care program could result in treatment of 32.6% elderly eligible patients.
PMCID: PMC4430481  PMID: 25970487
5.  The Changes of Liver Stiffness and Its Associated Factors for Chronic Hepatitis B Patients with Entecavir Therapy 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e93160.
Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) using transient elastography has been proposed to assess liver fibrosis well in various liver diseases. This study was to determine the changes of LSM and its associated factors for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients undergoing Entecavir therapy. Consecutive CHB patients underwent Entecavir therapy with two LSMs were enrolled. Patients with aspartate transaminase (AST) and/or alanine transaminase ≧200 IU/L were excluded. The retrospective study enrolled 233 patients including 132 without cirrhosis (group 1) and 101 with cirrhosis (group 2). The mean values of initial liver stiffness were 7.9 and 16.6 kPa for patients in group 1 and group 2, respectively (p<0.001). In addition to the decline of transaminase levels, there was significant reduction of liver stiffness value in a mean interval of 52.8 and 61.9 weeks between the two LSMs for patients in group 1 and 2, respectively (p<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that higher initial LSM value and presence of hepatitis B e-antigen were associated with a greater decline of LSM value, whereas follow-up AST≧40 IU/L with increased LSM value for group 1 patients. For group 2 patients, longer interval between the two LSMs, higher initial LSM value and AST≧40 IU/L were associated with a greater decline of LSM value, whereas presence of diabetes mellitus (DM) contributed to increased LSM value. In conclusion, CHB patients improved their LSM values after Entecavir therapy. Higher initial LSM value contributed to greater LSM reduction. However, in cirrhotic patients, DM was associated with an increased LSM value after therapy.
PMCID: PMC3969320  PMID: 24682088
6.  Telbivudine and adefovir combination therapy for patients with chronic lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B virus infections 
Archives of Virology  2013;159(1):29-37.
We evaluated second-line salvage therapy with adefovir + telbivudine (group 1), adefovir followed by adefovir + telbivudine (group 2), or lamivudine + adefovir followed by adefovir + telbivudine (group 3) in hepatitis B patients with an inadequate virologic response to lamivudine treatment. Simple linear regression analysis showed that for each additional month of treatment, the most significant reduction in viral load occurred in group 1 (HBV DNA [Log10 IU/mL]: group 1, −0.149; group 2, -0.081; group 3, −0.123). Generalized estimating equation analysis revealed that compared to group 1, hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels were 1.203 and 0.443 Log10 IU/mL higher in groups 2 and 3, respectively. Overall, a significant reduction in viral load (−0.060 Log10 IU/mL) was observed for each additional month of treatment. Adefovir + telbivudine treatment resulted in a significant reduction in HBV DNA levels. Moreover, telbivudine treatment resulted in a significant reduction in viral load (−0.050 Log10 IU/mL) compared to lamivudine treatment after the emergence of lamivudine resistance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00705-013-1786-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3888503  PMID: 23857507
7.  Surveillance cultures of samples obtained from biopsy channels and automated endoscope reprocessors after high-level disinfection of gastrointestinal endoscopes 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:120.
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.
PMCID: PMC3482587  PMID: 22943739
Surveillance culture monitoring; Gastrointestinal scope; Automated endoscope reprocessor; High-level disinfection reprocessing

Results 1-7 (7)