(1/1790) Study of an epidemic of venoocclusive disease in India.

Twenty-five cases of rapidly developing ascites occurring in an epidemic form were observed in a tribal district in Central India during August 1972-May 1973. Eleven of the patients died. Six patients were brought to hospital and studied for periods of two to 17 months. Necropsy was performed on one patient who died. The clinical features suggested an outflow tract obstruction such as a Budd-Chiari-like syndrome or venoocclusive disease. Radiographic and haemodynamic studies demonstrated a combination of post and perisinusoidal blocks. Liver dysfunction was indicated by the presence of a marked bromsulphthalein retention and mild to moderate hypoalbuminaemia. Histological examination of the liver biopsies showed changes that ranged from centrizonal haemorrhagic necrosis to an extensive centrilobular fibrosis associated with central vein occlusion. The disease was apparently caused by a food toxin, and the possible nature of this is discussed.  (+info)

(2/1790) Factor VII as a marker of hepatocellular synthetic function in liver disease.

Factor VII levels have been measured in 100 patients with liver disease following parenteral vitamin K1 therapy. There was good agreement between specific factor VII measurements and the one-stage prothrombin time apart from six patients with compensated cirrhosis in whom the prothrombin time was prolonged despite the presence of normal factor VII levels. A mean activity of 58% was found in patients with cirrhosis. Cirrhotic patients with features of hepatic decompensation had a significantly lower mean level of activity (40%) than the "contrast" patients with surgical obstruction of the major bile ducts (93%). Patients with chronic active liver disease had moderate depression of factor VII levels and those with non-cirrhotic liver damage had mean activities similar to the contrast group. Factor VII levels could not be correlated with BSP retention but there was a correlation with serum albumin concentration. It is concluded that the prothrombin time using Quick test with a standardized thromboplastin showing good sensitivity to factor VII, eg, the Manchester reagent (BCT), provides a reliable index of coagulability in chronic liver disease, and specific factor VII assays are not indicated.  (+info)

(3/1790) A phase I study of the lipophilic thymidylate synthase inhibitor Thymitaq (nolatrexed dihydrochloride) given by 10-day oral administration.

2-Amino-3,4-dihydro-6-methyl-4-oxo-5-(4-pyridylthio)-quinazoline dihydrochloride (nolatrexed dihydrochloride, Thymitaq, AG337), a specific inhibitor of thymidylate synthase, was developed using protein structure-based drug design. Intravenously administered nolatrexed is active clinically. As oral bioavailability is high (70-100%), nolatrexed was administered orally, 6 hourly for 10 days, at 3-week intervals, and dose escalated from 80 to 572 mg m(-2) day(-1) in 23 patients. Common toxicity criteria (CTC) grade 3 toxicities included nausea, vomiting, stomatitis and liver function test (LFT) abnormalities. Thrombocytopenia (grade 1 or 2) occurred at doses > or = 318 mg m(-2) day(-1) and neutropenia (grade 2) at 429 and 572 mg m(-2) day(-1). An erythematous maculopapular rash occurred at dosages > or = 318 mg m(-2) day(-1) (7 out of 19 patients). LFT abnormalities occurred in two out of six patients (grade 3 or 4 bilirubin and grade 3 alanine transaminase) at 572 mg m(-2) day(-1). Nolatrexed plasma concentrations 1 h after dosing were 6-16 microg ml(-1), and trough 3-8 microg ml(-1), at 572 mg m(-2) day(-1). Inhibition of thymidylate synthase was demonstrated by elevation of plasma deoxyuridine. Six-hourly oral nolatrexed for 10 days was associated with antiproliferative effects, but nausea and vomiting was dose limiting at 572 mg m(-2) day(-1). Nine patients were treated at 429 mg m(-2) day(-1); three out of nine experienced grade 3 nausea, but 17 out of 22 treatment courses were completed (with the co-administration of prophylactic antiemetics) and this dose level could be considered for phase II testing.  (+info)

(4/1790) Outcomes of routine testing of liver enzymes in institutionalized geriatric patients.

This study sought to identify any benefit of routine liver function tests (LFTs) in chronically ill, geriatric patients and to assess which patients require evaluation for abnormal LFT levels. A retrospective chart review was carried out on 268 consecutive patients (M:F = 1.2, mean age 77 years, range 61-98 years) presenting for acute care from a long-term care facility. All were without jaundice, right upper quadrant pain, pruritus, bruising, or signs of chronic liver disease. The degree of LFT abnormality (aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, total bilirubin, or alkaline phosphatase) during admission was compared to the clinical diagnosis at the time of discharge. The most common diagnoses were pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and peripheral or coronary disease in 186 (60%). Thirty-seven patients (14%) had elevated LFT levels on admission. The levels normalized within 2 days in 26 of these patients, 25 of whom had a history of vascular disease (96%). Of the 11 remaining patients, 4 had coexistent vascular disease (36%), and 5 had LFT levels twice normal (none with vascular disease) and underwent abdominal ultrasound. One patient had a common bile duct stone successfully extracted. Enzyme abnormalities were due to hepatitis B or medication use in 10 of 11 patients. No patient had liver biopsy. All but one of the 268 patients were discharged without further evaluation. Over one year of follow up, no patient returned for a liver-related problem. Based on these findings, only those patients with LFT levels that are twice normal and which do not normalize within 2 days warrant further evaluation. Transient LFT abnormalities may be due to decreased liver perfusion.  (+info)

(5/1790) Galactose elimination capacity as a prognostic index in patients with fulminant liver failure.

In 25 patients with fulminant hepatic failure the prognostic value of a quantitative liver function test, the galactose elimination capacity, was assessed and comapred with routine liver function tests and clinical features. The galactose elimination capacity was significantly higher (P less than 0-05) in the five patients who survived than in the 20 patients who died. None of the other liver function tests, was significantly different. The values of the galactose elimination capacity overlapped considerably between survivors and non-survivors, but all patients with a galactose elimination capacity below 12-8 mumol galactose/min and kg body weight died. The disease among most patients who died having a galactose elimination capacity greater than 13 mumol ran a subacute course. It is suggested that quantitative liver function tests be included when new treatments of fulminant hepatic failure are investigated.  (+info)

(6/1790) Analysis of hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA, antibody to HGV envelope protein, and risk factors for blood donors coinfected with HGV and hepatitis C virus.

Serologic, biochemical, and molecular analyses were used to study hepatitis G virus (HGV), antibody to the HGV envelope protein (anti-E2), risk factors, clinical significance, and the impact of HGV on coexistent hepatitis C virus (HCV). Among 329 donors with confirmed HCV infection, 12% were HGV RNA-positive and 44% were anti-E2-positive (total exposure, 56%). HGV RNA and anti-E2 were mutually exclusive except in 9 donors (1.5%); 8 of 9 subsequently lost HGV RNA but anti-E2 persisted. HGV had little impact on alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, or gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase in donors with HGV infection alone or those coinfected with HCV. A multivariate analysis showed that intravenous drug abuse was the leading risk factor for HGV transmission, followed by blood transfusion, snorting cocaine, imprisonment, and a history of sexually transmitted diseases. In summary, HGV and HCV infections were frequently associated and shared common parenteral risk factors; HGV did not appear to cause hepatitis or to worsen the course of coexistent hepatitis C.  (+info)

(7/1790) The natural history of histologically proved drug induced liver disease.

BACKGROUND: The long term outcome of drug related liver disease is unknown. AIMS: To study the natural history of histologically proved drug induced hepatotoxicity. METHODS: 110 patients with liver biopsies coded either as drug induced liver disease or hepatitis/cholestasis of unknown aetiology were identified from hospital records 1978-1996. Review of case notes and histology identified 44 patients with definite drug induced hepatotoxicity. Forty surviving patients were invited to attend a follow up clinic. History, examination, full liver screen, and isotope and ultrasound liver scans were repeated in all patients. Repeat liver biopsies were offered to patients with abnormal liver tests. RESULTS: Presentation at index biopsy was jaundice in 24 patients, abnormal liver tests in 17, and hepatic failure in three. Antibiotics (n=13) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n=11) were the most common drugs implicated. Initial histology showed acute hepatitis in six, chronic hepatitis in 20, and cholestasis in 18. At 1-19 years (median 5 years) follow up, 13/33 (39%) patients had persistent significant abnormalities in their liver blood tests and/or scans. Three of the five repeat liver biopsies performed showed significant abnormalities. Factors predicting persistence or development of chronic liver disease were fibrosis and continued exposure to the drug. CONCLUSIONS: Drugs should be considered in the differential diagnosis of abnormal liver function and/or histology, as failure to withdraw the offending drug is associated with a high risk of persistent liver damage.  (+info)

(8/1790) Special considerations in interpreting liver function tests.

A number of pitfalls can be encountered in the interpretation of common blood liver function tests. These tests can be normal in patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. The normal range for aminotransferase levels is slightly higher in males, nonwhites and obese persons. Severe alcoholic hepatitis is sometimes confused with cholecystitis or cholangitis. Conversely, patients who present soon after passing common bile duct stones can be misdiagnosed with acute hepatitis because aminotransferase levels often rise immediately, but alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyltransferase levels do not become elevated for several days. Asymptomatic patients with isolated, mild elevation of either the unconjugated bilirubin or the gamma-glutamyltransferase value usually do not have liver disease and generally do not require extensive evaluation. Overall hepatic function can be assessed by applying the values for albumin, bilirubin and prothrombin time in the modified Child-Turcotte grading system.  (+info)