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1.  High rates of early HBeAg seroconversion and relapse in Indian patients of chronic hepatitis B treated with Lamivudine: results of an open labeled trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2005;5:29.
The use of Lamivudine in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is well known, however the reported rate of HBeAg sero-conversion and its durability post-treatment have varied considerably. We undertook the present study to study the effect of Lamivudine on HBeAg loss and seroconversion rates in Indian patients of CHB in relation to frequency, predictors and durability.
We treated 60 patients of e antigen positive CHB (with active viral replication and ongoing necro-inflammatory activity) with Lamivudine. They were followed up by monthly aminotransferases, and 3 monthly HBeAg and anti-HBe. Those who attained HBeAg sero-conversion were advised to discontinue Lamivudine after 6 months and followed up every 3 months thereafter, to see for relapse. Treatment was given for maximum of 3 years if not sero-converted.
The annual incremental loss of HBeAg in patients receiving Lamivudine was 25 (41.6%) at end of 1st year, 33 (55%) at 2nd year and 35 (58.3%) at 3rd year. The corresponding rates for full sero-conversion were 17/60 (28.6%), 22/60 (36.6%) and 24/60 (40%) in the 3 years. HBeAg loss correlated with increased pre-therapy ALT levels (p = 0.002) and decreased pretreatment HBV-DNA levels (p = 0.004). The presence of cirrhosis had no influence on the rate of HBeAg loss. Relapse occurred in 35% (7/20) post-treatment at median time of 6 months.
Indian patients showed a higher rate of HBeAg sero-conversion in the first year of Lamivudine treatment. This correlated with baseline ALT and inversely with HBV-DNA levels. Relapse rate after treatment was high and occurred soon after stopping treatment.
PMCID: PMC1242224  PMID: 16164746
2.  Autoimmune hepatitis in India: profile of an uncommon disease 
BMC Gastroenterology  2005;5:27.
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) has been reported to show considerable geographical variation in frequency and clinical manifestations. It is considered a rare cause of liver disease in India. The present study was undertaken to determine the incidence, clinical, biochemical and histological profile of AIH in this part of the world.
Patients presenting with acute or chronic liver disease between January 1999 and June 2002 were evaluated prospectively. AIH was diagnosed using the international autoimmune hepatitis group criteria. Workup included clinical, biochemical, USG, viral markers, UGI endoscopy, AI markers (ANA, SMA, Anti-LKM, AMA, RF, p-ANCA) using indirect immunofluorescence and liver biopsy if possible.
Forty-one of 2401 (1.70%) patients were diagnosed to have autoimmune liver disease. Out of these, 38 had autoimmune hepatitis and the rest 3 had primary biliary cirrhosis. The mean age of the patients of autoimmune hepatitis was 36.2 (15.9) years, 34 (89.4%) were females, and the duration of symptoms was 20.3 (20.5) months. Nineteen (50%) of them presented with chronic hepatitis, 13 (34.2%) as cirrhosis, 5 (13.1%) with acute hepatitis and 1 (2.6%) with cholestatic hepatitis. The presentations were jaundice in 21 (55.2%), pedal edema and hepatomegaly in 17 (44.7%), splenomegaly in 13 (34.2%), encephalopathy, abdominal pain in 9 (23.6%) and fever in 8 (21%). Twelve had esophageal varices and 3 had bled. Biochemical parameters were ALT 187 (360) U/L, AST 157 (193) U/L, ALP 246 (254) U/L, globulin 4.1 (1.6) g/dL, albumin 2.8 (0.9) g/dL, bilirubin 5.2 (7.4) mg/dL, prothrombin time 17 (7) sec and ESR 47 (17) sec. The autoimmune markers were SMA (24), ANA (15), both SMA and ANA (4), AMA (1), rheumatoid factor (2), pANCA (1), and Anti-LKM in none. Thirty (79%) patients had definite AIH and eight (21%) had probable AI hepatitis. Associated autoimmune diseases was seen in 15/38 (39.4%), diabetes 4, hypothyroidism 3, vitiligo 2, thrombocytopenia 2, rheumatoid arthritis 2, Sjogren's syndrome 1 and autoimmune polyglandular syndrome III in 1. Viral markers were positive in two patients, one presenting as acute hepatitis and HEV-IgM positive and another anti-HCV positive.
In India, autoimmune hepatitis is uncommon and usually presents with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, acute hepatitis being less common. Age at presentation was earlier but clinical parameters and associated autoimmune diseases were similar to that reported from the west. Primary biliary cirrhosis is rare. Type II AIH was not observed.
PMCID: PMC1236920  PMID: 16098234
3.  Partially responsive celiac disease resulting from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and lactose intolerance 
BMC Gastroenterology  2004;4:10.
Celiac disease is a common cause of chronic diarrhea and malabsorption syndrome all over the world. Though it was considered uncommon in India in past, it is being described frequently recently. Some patients with celiac disease do not improve despite gluten free diet (GFD). A study described 15 cases of celiac disease unresponsive to GFD in whom small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or lactose intolerance was the cause for unresponsiveness.
Case presentation
During a three-year period, 12 adult patients with celiac disease were seen in the Luminal Gastroenterology Clinic in a tertiary referral center in northern India. Two of these 12 patients (16.6%), who did not fully respond to GFD initially, are presented here. Unresponsiveness resulted from SIBO in one and lactose intolerance in the other. The former patient responded to antibiotics and the latter to lactose withdrawal in addition to standard GFD.
In patients with celiac disease partially responsive or unresponsive to GFD, SIBO and lactose intolerance should be suspected; appropriate investigations and treatment for these may result in complete recovery.
PMCID: PMC420464  PMID: 15154971
4.  Dapsone induced cholangitis as a part of dapsone syndrome: a case report 
BMC Gastroenterology  2003;3:21.
Dapsone can rarely cause a hypersensitivity reaction called dapsone syndrome, consisting of fever, hepatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, lymphadenopathy and hemolytic anemia. Dapsone syndrome is a manifestation of the DRESS (drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms) syndrome which is a serious condition that has been reported in association with various drugs. Cholangitis in dapsone syndrome has not been reported so far in the world literature.
Case presentation
We report a patient who presented with fever, exfoliative dermatitis, jaundice and anemia within three weeks of starting of dapsone therapy. These features are typical of dapsone syndrome, which is due to dapsone hypersensitivity and is potentially fatal. Unlike previous reports of hepatitic or cholestatic injury in dapsone syndrome we report here a case that had cholangitic liver injury. It responded to corticosteroids.
We conclude that cholangitis, though unusual, can also form a part of dapsone syndrome. Physicians should be aware of this unusual picture of potentially fatal dapsone syndrome.
PMCID: PMC194587  PMID: 12911838

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