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
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
Liver cirrhosis; Clinical practice guideline
Laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy for early gastric cancer has gained acceptance and popularity worldwide. However, laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer is still controversial. Therefore, we propose this prospective randomized controlled multi-center trial in order to evaluate the safety and feasibility of laparoscopy assisted D2-gastrectomy for advanced stage gastric cancer.
Materials and Methods
Patients undergoing distal gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer staged cT2/3/4 cN0/1/2/3a cM0 by endoscopy and computed tomography are eligible for enrollment after giving their informed consent. Patients will be randomized either to laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy or open distal gastrectomy. Sample size calculation revealed that 102 patients are to be included per treatment arm. The primary endpoint is the non-compliance rate of D2 dissection; relevant secondary endpoints are three-year disease free survival, surgical and postoperative complications, hospital stay and unanimity rate of D2 dissection evaluated by reviewing the intraoperative video documentation.
Oncologic safety is the major concern regarding laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer. Therefore,
the non-compliance rate of clearing the N2 area was chosen as the most important parameter for the technical feasibility of the laparoscopic procedure. Furthermore, surgical quality will be carefully reviewed, that is, three independent experts will review the video records and score with a check list. For a long-term result, disease free survival is considered a secondary endpoint for this trial. This study will offer promising evidence of the feasibility and safety of Laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer.Trial Registration: NCT01088204 (international), NCCCTS-09-448 (Korea).
Gastrectomy; Stomach neoplasms; Lymph node excision
This study evaluated the clinical outcomes of balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration (BRTO) for the treatment of hemorrhage from gastric varices (GV) in Korean patients with liver cirrhosis (LC).
We retrospectively analyzed data from 183 LC patients who underwent BRTO for GV bleeding in 6 university-based hospitals between January 2001 and December 2010.
Of the 183 enrolled patients, 49 patients had Child-Pugh (CP) class A LC, 105 had CP class B, and 30 had CP class C at the time of BRTO. BRTO was successfully performed in 177 patients (96.7%). Procedure-related complications (e.g., pulmonary thromboembolism and renal infarction) occurred in eight patients (4.4%). Among 151 patients who underwent follow-up examinations of GV, 79 patients (52.3%) achieved eradication of GV, and 110 patients (72.8%) exhibited marked shrinkage of the treated GV to grade 0 or I. Meanwhile, new-appearance or aggravation of esophageal varices (EV) occurred in 54 out of 136 patients who underwent follow-up endoscopy (41.2%). During the 36.0±29.2 months (mean±SD) of follow-up, 39 patients rebled (hemorrhage from GV in 7, EV in 18, nonvariceal origin in 4, and unknown in 10 patients). The estimated 3-year rebleeding-free rate was 74.8%, and multivariate analysis showed that CP class C was associated with rebleeding (odds ratio, 2.404; 95% confidence-interval, 1.013-5.704; P=0.047).
BRTO can be performed safely and effectively for the treatment of GV bleeding. However, aggravation of EV or bleeding from EV is not uncommon after BRTO; thus, periodic endoscopy to follow-up of EV with or without prophylactic treatment might be necessary in LC patients undergoing BRTO.
Balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration; Esophageal varices; Gastric varices; Liver cirrhosis; Variceal hemorrhage
Despite remarkable progress in understanding and treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) during the past two decades, the pathological characteristics of GISTs have not been made clear yet. Furthermore, concrete diagnostic criteria of malignant GISTs are still uncertain. We collected pathology reports of 1,227 GISTs from 38 hospitals in Korea between 2003 and 2004 and evaluated the efficacy of the NIH and AFIP classification schemes as well as the prognostic factors among pathologic findings. The incidence of GISTs in Korea is about 1.6 to 2.2 patients per 100,000. Extra-gastrointestinal GISTs (10.1%) are more common in Korea than in Western countries. In univariate analysis, gender, age, tumor location, size, mitosis, tumor necrosis, vascular and mucosal invasions, histologic type, CD34 and s-100 protein expression, and classifications by the NIH and AFIP criteria were found to be significantly correlated with patient's survival. However, the primary tumor location, stage and classification of the AFIP criteria were prognostically significant in predicting patient's survival in multivariate analysis. The GIST classification based on original tumor location, size, and mitosis is more efficient than the NIH criteria in predicting patient's survival, but the mechanism still needs to be clarified through future studies.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors; Epidemiology; Pathology; Prognosis
Previous studies suggest that the concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] in cord blood may show an inverse association with respiratory tract infections (RTI) during childhood. The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of 25(OH)D concentrations in cord blood on infant RTI in a Korean birth cohort.
The levels of 25(OH)D in cord blood obtained from 525 Korean newborns in the prospective COhort for Childhood Origin of Asthma and allergic diseases were examined. The primary outcome variable of interest was the prevalence of RTI at 6-month follow-up, as diagnosed by pediatricians and pediatric allergy and pulmonology specialists. RTI included acute nasopharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, otitis media, croup, tracheobronchitis, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia.
The median concentration of 25(OH)D in cord blood was 32.0 nmol/L (interquartile range, 21.4 to 53.2). One hundred and eighty neonates (34.3%) showed 25(OH)D concentrations less than 25.0 nmol/L, 292 (55.6%) showed 25(OH)D concentrations of 25.0-74.9 nmol/L, and 53 (10.1%) showed concentrations of ≥75.0 nmol/L. Adjusting for the season of birth, multivitamin intake during pregnancy, and exposure to passive smoking during pregnancy, 25(OH)D concentrations showed an inverse association with the risk of acquiring acute nasopharyngitis by 6 months of age (P for trend=0.0004).
The results show that 89.9% of healthy newborns in Korea are born with vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency (55.6% and 34.3%, respectively). Cord blood vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency in healthy neonates is associated with an increased risk of acute nasopharyngitis by 6 months of age. More time spent outdoors and more intensified vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women may be needed to prevent the onset of acute nasopharyngitis in infants.
Cohort studies; Infant; Respiratory tract infections; Umbilical cord blood; Vitamin D
The application of ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) is considered essential when evaluating focal liver lesions (FLLs) using ultrasonography (US). Microbubble UCAs are easy to use and robust; their use poses no risk of nephrotoxicity and requires no ionizing radiation. The unique features of contrast enhanced US (CEUS) are not only noninvasiveness but also real-time assessing of liver perfusion throughout the vascular phases. The later feature has led to dramatic improvement in the diagnostic accuracy of US for detection and characterization of FLLs as well as the guidance to therapeutic procedures and evaluation of response to treatment. This article describes the current consensus and guidelines for the use of UCAs for the FLLs that are commonly encountered in US. After a brief description of the bases of different CEUS techniques, contrast-enhancement patterns of different types of benign and malignant FLLs and other clinical applications are described and discussed on the basis of our experience and the literature data.
Guidelines; Contrast enhanced Ultrasonography (CEUS); Focal liver lesions (FLLs)
Tinea incognito (TI) is a dermatophytic infection which has lost its typical clinical appearance because of improper use of steroids or calcineurin inhibitors. The incidence of TI is increasing nowadays. We conducted retrospective review on 283 patients with TI from 25 dermatology training hospitals in Korea from 2002-2010 to investigate the demographical, clinical, and mycological characteristics of TI, and to determine the associated risk factors. More than half (59.3%) patients were previously treated by non-dermatologists or self-treated. The mean duration of TI was 15.0 ± 25.3 months. The most common clinical manifestations were eczema-like lesion, psoriasis-like, and lupus erythematosus-like lesion. The trunk and face were frequently involved, and 91 patients (32.2%) also had coexisting fungal infections. Among 67 isolated strains, Trichophyton rubrum was the most frequently detected (73.1%). This is the largest study of TI reported to date and the first investigational report concerning TI in Korea. We suggest that doctors should consider TI when a patient has intractable eczema-like lesions accompanied by tinea pedis/unguium. Furthermore, there should be a policy change, which would make over-the-counter high-potency topical steroids less accessible in some countries, including Korea.
Calcineurin Inhibitor; Dermatophytoses; Korea; Steroid; Tinea; Tinea Incognito
This study attempted to calculate and investigate the incidence of hospitalized acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke in Korea. Using the National Health Insurance claim data, we investigated patients whose main diagnostic codes included AMI or stroke during 2006 to 2010. As a result, we found out that the number of AMI hospitalized patients had decreased since 2006 and amounted to 15,893 in 2010; and that the number of those with stroke had decreased since 2006 and amounted to 73,501 in 2010. The age-standardized incidence rate of hospitalized AMI, after adjustment for readmission, was 41.6 cases per 100,000-population in 2006, and had decreased to 29.4 cases in 2010 (for trend P < 0.001). In the case of stroke was estimated at 172.8 cases per 100,000-population in 2006, and had decreased to 135.1 cases in 2010 (for trend P < 0.001). In conclusion, the age-standardized incidence rates of both hospitalized AMI and stroke in Korea had decreased continuously during 2006 to 2010. We consider this decreasing trend due to the active use of pharmaceuticals, early vascular intervention, and the national cardio-cerebrovascular disease care project as the primary and secondary prevention efforts.
Epidemiology; Acute Myocardial Infarction; Stroke; Patient Readmission
Background and Purpose
Since the γ-aminobutyric acid type-A receptor subunit γ2 gene (GABRG2) mutation was discovered in an Australian family with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and febrile convulsions, a few screening studies for the GABRG2 mutation have been conducted in sporadic individuals with CAE from other ethnic groups. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not the previously reported genetic mutations and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of GABRG2 can be reproduced in sporadic Korean individuals with CAE, compared to healthy Korean individuals.
Thirty-five children with CAE in Chonnam National University Hospital and healthy controls (n=207) were enrolled, and the medical records of patients with CAE were reviewed. CAE was diagnosed according to the Classification and Terminology of the International League Against Epilepsy. All nine exons of GABRG2 were directly sequenced. In addition, the two SNPs found in our CAE patients were analyzed: C315T in exon 3 (E3) and C588T in exon 5 (E5). The frequencies of the two SNPs in the CAE patients were compared with data from healthy controls (for E3 and E5) and from previously reported Korean population data (only for E3).
No mutation of GABRG2 was found in our CAE patients. In addition, the allele and genotype frequencies of the two polymorphisms did not differ significantly between CAE patients, healthy controls, and the Korean general population (p>0.05).
Our study of sporadic Korean individuals with CAE found no evidence that GABRG2 contributes to the genetic basis of CAE.
GABAA receptor gamma subunit; absence epilepsy; child
AIM: To determine whether bispectral index (BIS) monitoring is useful for propofol administration for deep sedation during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
METHODS: Fifty-nine consecutive patients with a variety of reasons for ERCP who underwent the procedure at least twice between 1 July 2010 and 30 November 2010. This was a randomized cross-over study, in which each patient underwent ERCP twice, once with BIS monitoring and once with control monitoring. Whether BIS monitoring was done during the first or second ERCP procedure was random. Patients were intermittently administered a mixed regimen including midazolam, pethidine, and propofol by trained nurses. The nurse used a routine practice to monitor sedation using the Modified Observer’s Assessment of Alertness/Sedation (MOAA/S) scale or the BIS monitoring. The total amount of midazolam and propofol used and serious side effects were compared between the BIS and control groups.
RESULTS: The mean total propofol dose administered was 53.1 ± 32.2 mg in the BIS group and 54.9 ± 30.8 mg in the control group (P = 0.673). The individual propofol dose received per minute during the ERCP procedure was 2.90 ± 1.83 mg/min in the BIS group and 3.44 ± 2.04 mg in the control group (P = 0.103). The median value of the MOAA/S score during the maintenance phase of sedation was comparable for the two groups. The mean BIS values throughout the procedure (from insertion to removal of the endoscope) were 76.5 ± 8.7 for all 59 patients in using the BIS monitor. No significant differences in the frequency of < 80% oxygen saturation, hypotension (< 80 mmHg), or bradycardia (< 50 beats/min) were observed between the two study groups. Four cases of poor cooperation occurred, in which the procedure should be stopped to add the propofol dose. After adding the propofol, the procedure could be conducted successfully (one case in the BIS group, three cases in the control group). The endoscopist rated patient sedation as excellent for all patients in both groups. All patients in both groups rated their level of satisfaction as high (no discomfort). During the post-procedural follow-up in the recovery area, no cases of clinically significant hypoxic episodes were recorded in either group. No other postoperative side effects related to sedation were observed in either group.
CONCLUSION: BIS monitoring trend to slighlty reduce the mean propofol dose. Nurse-administered propofol sedation under the supervision of a gastroenterologist may be considered an alternative under anesthesiologist.
Conscious sedation; Bispectral index monitors; Pancreatic neoplasm; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
Evidence suggests that diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). According to the new IPF guidelines, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is an essential means of diagnosing IPF. We investigated the relationship between IPF and DM in patients treated between 2003 and 2007. Newly diagnosed IPF patients in large university teaching hospitals in Korea were enrolled from January 2003 to December 2007. We retrospectively analyzed 1,685 patients using the interstitial lung disease (ILD) registry. In total, 299 IPF patients (17.8%) also had DM. The mean age of our subjects was 68.0 ± 9.4 yr. HRCT showed significantly more reticular and honeycomb patterns in IPF patients with DM than in IPF patients without DM (P = 0.014, P = 0.028, respectively). Furthermore, significantly higher incidences of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and other malignancies (except lung cancer) were found in IPF patients with DM than in IPF patients without DM. In conclusion, IPF patients with DM are more likely to have the usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern, including reticular and honeycomb patterns, on HRCT than are those without DM.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis; Diabetes Mellitus; High Resolution Computed Tomography
Accurate diagnosis of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is difficult without considering the possibility of underlying diseases, especially autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). We investigated the clinical patterns in patients with a history of medication, liver-function abnormalities, and in whom liver biopsy was conducted, focusing on accompaniment by AIH.
The clinical, serologic, and histologic findings of 29 patients were compared and analyzed. The patients were aged 46.2±12.8 years (mean±SD), and 72.4% of patient were female. The most common symptom and causal drug were jaundice (58.6%) and herbal medications (55.2%), respectively.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase levels were 662.2±574.8 U/L, 905.4±794.9 U/L, 12.9±10.8 mg/dL, 195.8±123.3 U/L, and 255.3±280.8 U/L, respectively. According to serologic and histologic findings, 21 cases were diagnosed with DILI and 8 with AIH. The AIH group exhibited significantly higher AST levels (537.1±519.1 vs. 1043.3±600.5 U/L), globulin levels (2.7±0.4 vs. 3.3±0.5 g/dL), and prothrombin time (12.9±2.4 vs. 15.2±3.9 s; P<0.05). Antinuclear antibody was positive in 7 of 21 cases of DILI and all 8 cases of AIH (P=0.002). The simplified AIH score was 3.7±0.9 in the DILI group and 6.5±0.9 in the AIH group (P<0.001).
Accurate diagnosis is necessary for patients with a history of medication and visits for liver-function abnormalities; in particular, the possibility of AIH should be considered.
Drug-induced liver injury; Autoimmune hepatitis; Diagnosis
Although approximately 25 common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified to be independently associated with breast cancer risk through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the genetic risk variants reported to date only explain a small fraction of the heritability of breast cancer. Furthermore, GWAS-identified loci were primarily identified in women of European descent.
To evaluate previously identified loci in Korean women and to identify additional novel breast cancer susceptibility variants, we conducted a three-stage GWAS that included 6,322 cases and 5,897 controls.
In the validation study using Stage I of the 2,273 cases and 2,052 controls, seven GWAS-identified loci [5q11.2/MAP3K1 (rs889312 and rs16886165), 5p15.2/ROPN1L (rs1092913), 5q12/MRPS30 (rs7716600), 6q25.1/ESR1 (rs2046210 and rs3734802), 8q24.21 (rs1562430), 10q26.13/FGFR2 (rs10736303), and 16q12.1/TOX3 (rs4784227 and rs3803662)] were significantly associated with breast cancer risk in Korean women (Ptrend < 0.05). To identify additional genetic risk variants, we selected the most promising 17 SNPs in Stage I and replicated these SNPs in 2,052 cases and 2,169 controls (Stage II). Four SNPs were further evaluated in 1,997 cases and 1,676 controls (Stage III). SNP rs13393577 at chromosome 2q34, located in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 4 (ERBB4) gene, showed a consistent association with breast cancer risk with combined odds ratios (95% CI) of 1.53 (1.37-1.70) (combined P for trend = 8.8 × 10-14).
This study shows that seven breast cancer susceptibility loci, which were previously identified in European and/or Chinese populations, could be directly replicated in Korean women. Furthermore, this study provides strong evidence implicating rs13393577 at 2q34 as a new risk variant for breast cancer.
We investigated the frequency of occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive individuals and the effects of occult HBV infection on the severity of liver disease.
Seventy-one hepatitis B virus surface-antigen (HBsAg)-negative patients were divided according to their HBV serological status into groups A (anti-HBc positive, anti-HBs negative; n=18), B (anti-HBc positive, anti-HBs positive; n=34), and C (anti-HBc negative, anti-HBs positive/negative; n=19), and by anti-HCV positivity (anti-HCV positive; n=32 vs. anti-HCV negative; n=39). Liver biopsy samples were taken, and HBV DNA was quantified by real-time PCR.
Intrahepatic HBV DNA was detected in 32.4% (23/71) of the entire cohort, and HBV DNA levels were invariably low in the different groups. Occult HBV infection was detected more frequently in the anti-HBc-positive patients. Intrahepatic HBV DNA was detected in 28.1% (9/32) of the anti-HCV-positive and 35.9% (14/39) of the anti-HCV-negative subjects. The HCV genotype did not affect the detection rate of intrahepatic HBV DNA. In anti-HCV-positive cases, occult HBV infection did not affect liver disease severity.
Low levels of intrahepatic HBV DNA were detected frequently in both HBsAg-negative and anti-HCV-positive cases. However, the frequency of occult HBV infection was not affected by the presence of hepatitis C, and occult HBV infection did not have a significant effect on the disease severity of hepatitis C.
Occult infection; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus; HBV DNA
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is performed as an alternative to surgical resection for primary or secondary liver malignancies. Although RFA can be performed safely in most patients, early and late complications related to mechanical or thermal damage occur in 8-9.5% cases. Hemocholecyst, which refers to hemorrhage of the gallbladder, has been reported with primary gallbladder disease or as a secondary event associated with hemobilia. Hemobilia, defined as hemorrhage in the biliary tract and most commonly associated with accidental or iatrogenic trauma, is a rare complication of RFA. Here we report a case of hemocholecyst associated with hemobilia after RFA for hepatocellular carcinoma that was successfully managed by laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Hemobilia; Hemocholecyst; Radiofrequency ablation; Complication
AIM: To evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of endoscopic obliteration with Histoacryl® for treatment of gastric variceal bleeding and prophylaxis.
METHODS: Between January 1994 and March 2010 at SoonChunHyang University Hospital, a total of 127 patients with gastric varices received Histoacryl® injections endoscopically. One hundred patients underwent endoscopic Histoacryl® injections because of variceal bleeding, the other 27 patients received such injections as a prophylactic procedure.
RESULTS: According to Sarin classification, 56 patients were GOV1, 61 patients were GOV2 and 10 patients were IGV. Most of the varices were large (F2 or F3, 111 patients). The average volume of Histoacryl® per each session was 1.7 ± 1.3 cc and mean number of sessions was 1.3 ± 0.6. (1 session-98 patients, 2 sessions-25 patients, ≥ 3 sessions-4 patients). Twenty-seven patients with high risk of bleeding (large or fundal or RCS+ or Child C) received Histoacryl® injection as a primary prophylactic procedure. In these patients, hepatitis B virus was the major etiology of cirrhosis, 25 patients showed GOV1 or 2 (92.6%) and F2 or F3 accounted for 88.9% (n = 24). The rate of initial hemostasis was 98.4% and recurrent bleeding within one year occurred in 18.1% of patients. Successful hemostasis during episodes of rebleeding was achieved in 73.9% of cases. Median survival was 50 mo (95% CI 30.5-69.5). Major complications occurred in 4 patients (3.1%). The rebleeding rate in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma or GOV2 was higher than in those with other conditions. None of the 27 subjects who were treated prophylactically experienced treatment-related complications. Cumulative survival rates of the 127 patients at 6 mo, 1, 3, and 5 years were 92.1%, 84.2%, 64.2%, and 45.3%, respectively. The 6 mo cumulative survival rate of the 27 patients treated prophylactically was 75%.
CONCLUSION: Histoacryl® injection therapy is an effective treatment for gastric varices and also an effective prophylactic treatment of gastric varices which carry high risk of bleeding.
Gastric varix; Prophylaxis; Histoacryl® (N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate); Histoacryl® injection; Treatment of gastric varix
To investigate the degree of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
COX-2 protein expression was evaluated in 43 cases of chronic hepatitis and 24 cases of cirrhosis using immunohistochemical techniques. The COX-2 immunohistochemical staining score was assessed using the scoring systems of Pazirandeh et al and Qiu et al. and each scoring system was based on a sum of the parameters of staining intensity and distribution.
The mean COX-2 expression scores in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis were 2.5 ± 1.3 vs. 3.3 ± 1.1 (p = 0.008), and 3.2 ± 2.0 vs. 4.5 ± 1.7 (p = 0.006), respectively, based on the Pazirandeh et al. and Qiu et al. scoring systems. The percentage samples of high COX-2 expression score (4 to 5) in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis were 16.3% vs. 45.8% (p = 0.022), and 23.3% vs. 50% (p = 0.021), respectively, based on the two scoring systems. The mean COX-2 expression scores based on the severity of hepatic fibrosis scored using Ishak's modified staging system (fibrosis score 0 to 3 vs. 4 to 6) were 2.4 ± 1.3 vs. 3.2 ± 1.1 (p = 0.009), and 3.1 ± 2.0 vs. 4.3 ± 1.8 (p = 0.009), respectively, based on the two scoring systems.
COX-2 expression was significantly higher in liver cirrhosis group than in chronic hepatitis. COX-2 expression scores according to Ishak's staging was significantly higher in the advanced fibrosis group. COX-2 may play a role in the progression of hepatic fibrosis.
Cyclooxygenase 2; Immunohistochemistry; Hepatitis, chronic; Liver cirrhosis
AIM: To investigate the usefulness of magnified observations of iodine-unstained esophageal lesions in the histological diagnosis of esophageal mucosa abnormalities, in high-risk esophageal cancer groups.
METHODS: The subjects included 38 patients who had at least one of the four criteria known to be high-risk factors for esophageal cancer. Following endoscopic observation, magnified observations were performed on iodine-unstained lesions of the esophagus. The total number of lesions was 43. These lesions were classified as type A (clear papilla), type B (fused papilla), and type C (non-visible papilla) according to the findings. Tissue biopsy was then carried out. Finally the histological findings were graded in terms of histological factors, and their relationships were compared.
RESULTS: Of the 43 lesions, 11 were type A, 17 were type B, and 15 were type C under magnifying endoscopy. Histological findings such as inflammatory cell infiltration and basal cell hyperplasia were significantly increased in type B and type C lesions compared with type A lesions (P < 0.05). Low-grade esophageal dysplasia was apparent in 1 (9%) of 11 type A lesions, in 3 (18%) of 17 type B lesions, and in 6 (40%) of 15 type C lesions, with the highest rate in type C.
CONCLUSION: Magnified observations of the esophagus, classified by papillary aspects using magnifying endoscopy of iodine-unstained lesions in high-risk esophageal cancer groups, are considered useful in estimating dysplasia and inflammation of esophageal mucosa.
Esophageal cancer; Iodine; Magnifying endoscopy
Calcium and apatite granulations are demonstrated here to form in both human and
fetal bovine serum in response to the simple addition of either calcium or
phosphate, or a combination of both. These granulations are shown to represent
precipitating complexes of protein and hydroxyapatite (HAP) that display marked
pleomorphism, appearing as round, laminated particles, spindles, and films.
These same complexes can be found in normal untreated serum, albeit at much
lower amounts, and appear to result from the progressive binding of serum
proteins with apatite until reaching saturation, upon which the mineralo-protein
complexes precipitate. Chemically and morphologically, these complexes are
virtually identical to the so-called nanobacteria (NB) implicated in numerous
diseases and considered unusual for their small size, pleomorphism, and the
presence of HAP. Like NB, serum granulations can seed particles upon transfer to
serum-free medium, and their main protein constituents include albumin,
complement components 3 and 4A, fetuin-A, and apolipoproteins A1 and B100, as
well as other calcium and apatite binding proteins found in the serum. However,
these serum mineralo-protein complexes are formed from the direct chemical
binding of inorganic and organic phases, bypassing the need for any biological
processes, including the long cultivation in cell culture conditions deemed
necessary for the demonstration of NB. Thus, these serum granulations may result
from physiologically inherent processes that become amplified with calcium
phosphate loading or when subjected to culturing in medium. They may be viewed
as simple mineralo-protein complexes formed from the deployment of
calcification-inhibitory pathways used by the body to cope with excess calcium
phosphate so as to prevent unwarranted calcification. Rather than representing
novel pathophysiological mechanisms or exotic lifeforms, these results indicate
that the entities described earlier as NB most likely originate from calcium and
apatite binding factors in the serum, presumably calcification inhibitors, that
upon saturation, form seeds for HAP deposition and growth. These calcium
granulations are similar to those found in organisms throughout nature and may
represent the products of more general calcium regulation pathways involved in
the control of calcium storage, retrieval, tissue deposition, and disposal.
Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) is one of the important complications of glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) because it can be transformed into hepatocellular carcinoma. Although surgical resection is a standard treatment of choice for solitary HCA, multiple HCAs in GSD-Ia patients present as therapeutic challenges for curative treatment. Therefore, treatment strategy according to malignant potential is important in management of HCAs in GSD-Ia. The authors present a case of histologically proven multiple HCAs without β-catenin mutations occurred in a GSD-Ia patient treated successfully with percutaneous radiofrequency ablation as a minimally invasive therapy.
Glycogen storage disease; Hepatocellular adenoma; Radiofrequency ablation; β-catenin activation; Glycogen storage disease
Although crystallins are major structural proteins in the lens, α-crystallins perform non-lens functions, and αB-crystallin has been shown to act as an anti-apoptotic mediator in various cells. The present study was undertaken to examine whether αB-crystallin expressed in human malignant glioma cells exerts anti-apoptotic acitivity. In addition, we sought to elucidate the mechanism underlying any observed anti-apoptotic function of αB-crystallin in these cells. Three glioma cell lines, U373MG, U118MG, and T98G, were used. We observed that only the U373MG cell line expresses αB-crystallin, whereas the other 2 glioma cell lines, U118MG and T98G, demonstrated no endogenous expression of αB-crystallin. We next observed that the silencing of αB-crystallin sensitized U373MG cells to suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA)–induced apoptosis and that αB-crystallin associates with caspase-3 and XIAP. Because XIAP is the most potent suppressor of mammalian apoptosis through the direct binding with caspases, we assessed whether XIAP also plays an anti-apoptotic role in SAHA-induced apoptosis in αB-crystallin-expressing U373MG cells. Of note, the silencing of XIAP did not alter the amount of cell death induced by SAHA, indicating that XIAP does not exert an anti-apoptotic activity in U373MG cells. We then determined whether the ectopic expression of αB-crystallin in glioma cells caused a loss of the anti-apoptotic activity of XIAP. Accordingly, we established 2 αB-crystallin over-expressing glioma cell lines, U118MG and T98G, and found that the silencing of XIAP did not sensitize these cells to SAHA-induced apoptosis. These findings suggest that αB-crystallin expressed in glioma cells overrides the anti-apoptotic activity exerted by XIAP.
αB-crystallin; apoptosis; glioma; SAHA; XIAP
The relationship between portal hemodynamics and fundal varices has not been well documented. The purpose of this study was to understand the pathophysiology of fundal varices and to investigate bleeding risk factors related to the presence of spontaneous portosystemic shunts, and to examine the hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) between fundal varices and other varices.
In total, 85 patients with cirrhosis who underwent HVPG and gastroscopic examination between July 2009 and March 2011 were included in this study. The interrelationship between HVPG and the types of varices or the presence of spontaneous portosystemic shunts was studied.
There was no significant difference in the HVPG between fundal varices (n=12) and esophageal varices and gastroesophageal varices type 1 (GOV1) groups (n=73) (17.1±7.7 mm Hg vs 19.7±5.3 mm Hg). Additionally, there was no significant difference in the HVPG between varices with spontaneous portosystemic shunts (n=28) and varices without these shunts (n=57) (18.3±5.8 mm Hg vs 17.0±8.1 mm Hg). Spontaneous portosystemic shunts increased in fundal varices compared with esophageal varices and GOV1 (8/12 patients [66.7%] vs 20/73 patients [27.4%]; p=0.016).
Fundal varices had a high prevalence of spontaneous portosystemic shunts compared with other varices. However, the portal pressure in fundal varices was not different from the pressure in esophageal varices and GOV1.
Cirrhosis; Hypertension, portal; Hepatic venous pressure gradient; Fundal varices; Portasystemic shunt, surgical
A number of reagents that prevent thrombosis have been developed but were found to have serious side effects. Therefore, we sought to identify complementary and alternative medicinal materials that are safe and have long-term efficacy. In the present studies, we have assessed the ability of chlorine e6 (CE6) to inhibit ADP-induced aggregation of rat platelets and elucidated the underlying mechanism. CE6 inhibited platelet aggregation induced by 10 µM ADP in a concentration-dependent manner and decreased intracellular calcium mobilization and granule secretion (i.e., ATP and serotonin release). Western blotting revealed that CE6 strongly inhibited the phosphorylations of PI3K, Akt, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and different mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) as well as p38-MAPK. Our study also demonstrated that CE6 significantly elevated intracellular cAMP levels and decreased thromboxane A2 formation in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, we determined that CE6 initiated the activation of PKA, an effector of cAMP. Taken together, our findings indicate that CE6 may inhibit ADP-induced platelet activation by elevating cAMP levels and suppressing PI3K/Akt activity. Finally, these results suggest that CE6 could be developed as therapeutic agent that helps prevent thrombosis and ischemia.