Structural and functional changes in acute liver injury.
Carbon tetrachloride produces liver cell injury in a variety of animal species. The first structurally recognizable changes occur in the endoplasmic reticulum, with alteration in ribosome-membrane interactions. Later there is an increase in intracellular fat, and the formation of tangled nets of the ergastoplasm. At no time are there changes in mitochondria or single membrane limited bodies in cells with intact plasmalemma, although a relative increase in cell sap may appear. In dead cells (those with plasmalemma discontinuties) crystalline deposits of calcium phosphatase may be noted. Functional changes are related to the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane. An early decrease in protein synthesis takes place; an accumulation of neutral lipid is related to this change. Later alterations in the ergastoplasmic functions (e.g., mixed function oxidation) occurs. Carbon tetrachloride is not the active agent; rather, a product of its metabolism, probably the CC1, free radical, is. The mechanisms of injury include macromolecular adduction and peroxide propagation. A third possibility includes a cascade effect with the production of secondary and tertiary products, also toxic in nature, with the ability to produce more widespread damage to intracellular structures. (+info)
Various forms of chemically induced liver injury and their detection by diagnostic procedures.
A large number of chemical agents, administered for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes, can produce various types of hepatic injury by several mechanisms. Some agents are intrinsically hepatotoxic, and others produce hepatic injury only in the rare, uniquely susceptible individual. Idiosyncrasy of the host is the mechanism for most types of drug-induced hepatic injury. It may reflect allergy to the drug or a metabolic aberation of the host permitting the accumulation of hepatotoxic metabolites. The syndromes of hepatic disease produced by drugs have been classified hepatocellular, hepatocanalicular, mixed and canalicular. Measurement of serum enzyme activities has provided a powerful tool for studies of hepatotoxicity. Their measurement requires awareness of relative specificity, knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and knowledge of the relationship between known hepatotoxic states and elevated enzyme activities. (+info)
Quantitative aspects in the assessment of liver injury.
Liver function data are usually difficult to use in their original form when one wishes to compare the hepatotoxic properties of several chemical substances. However, procedures are available for the conversion of liver function data into quantal responses. These permit the elaboration of dose-response lines for the substances in question, the calculation of median effective doses and the statistical analysis of differences in liver-damaging potency. These same procedures can be utilized for estimating the relative hazard involved if one compares the liver-damaging potency to the median effective dose for some other pharmacologie parameter. Alterations in hepatic triglycerides, lipid peroxidation, and the activities of various hepatic enzymes can also be quantitiated in a dose-related manner. This permits the selection of equitoxic doses required for certain comparative studies and the selection of doses in chemical interaction studies. The quantitative problems involved in low-frequency adverse reactions and the difficulty these present in the detection of liver injury in laboratory animals are discussed. (+info)
Assessment of hepatotoxic potential.
Philosophic concepts and pragmatic approaches toward improved understanding of the effect of drugs in the hepatocyte are reviewed. No set pattern of studies is advocated but rather observations are encouraged within the framework of studies that provide for varied exposure of the hepatocyte. Clinical usage should be imitated to provide earliest possible indications of toxicity in man. The need for definitive characterization through utilization of appropriate methodology derived from cross-fertilization of related disciplines is stressed. Both minimal and maximal dose effects should be established. Selected use of electron microscopy has become essential for characterizing responses of the liver to injury. The advantages of the toluidine blue-stained Epon "thick" sections are emphasized. Such observations are used to implement the utility of serial biopsies from the beagle dog prior to and during long-term study of potential hepatic injury. Examples of the critical effects of drug concentration within the hepatocyte are presented. (+info)
Complement fixing hepatitis B core antigen immune complexes in the liver of patients with HBs antigen positive chronic disease.
One hundred and fifty-two biopsies from serologically HBsAg positive and negative patients with liver disease were studied in immunofluorescence: for the presence of the surface (HBs) and the core (HBc) antigenic determinants foeterminants of the hepatitis B virus, of immunoglobulins and complement (C) deposits, and for the capacity to fix human C. Circumstantial evidence is presented suggesting that HBc immune-complexes are a relevant feature in the establishment and progression of chronic HBSAg liver disease. C fixation by liver cells was shown in all HBC positive patients with chronic hepatitis; an active form was present in every case, except two with a persistent hepatitis, an inverse ratio of HBc to C binding fluorescence being noted between active chronic hepatitis and cirrhotic patients. HBc without C fixation was observed in only three patients in the incubation phase of infectious hepatitis. IgG deposits were often found in HBc containing, C fixing nuclei. No C binding or IgG deposits were observed in acute self-limited type B hepatitis, in serologically positive patients with normal liver or minimal histological lesions, with and without HBs cytoplasmic fluorescence in their biopsy, or in serologically negative individuals. (+info)
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)
Risk of major liver resection in patients with underlying chronic liver disease: a reappraisal.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the relation of patient age, status of liver parenchyma, presence of markers of active hepatitis, and blood loss to subsequent death and complications in patients undergoing a similar major hepatectomy for the same disease using a standardized technique. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Major liver resection carries a high risk of postoperative liver failure in patients with chronic liver disease. However, this underlying liver disease may comprise a wide range of pathologic changes that have, in the past, not been well defined. METHODS: The nontumorous liver of 55 patients undergoing a right hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma was classified according to a semiquantitative grading of fibrosis. The authors analyzed the influence of this pathologic feature and of other preoperative variables on the risk of postoperative death and complications. RESULTS: Serum bilirubin and prothrombin time increased on postoperative day 1, and their speed of recovery was influenced by the severity of fibrosis. Incidence of death from liver failure was 32% in patients with grade 4 fibrosis (cirrhosis) and 0% in patients with grade 0 to 3 fibrosis. The preoperative serum aspartate transaminase (ASAT) level ranged from 68 to 207 IU/l in patients with cirrhosis who died, compared with 20 to 62 in patients with cirrhosis who survived. CONCLUSION: A major liver resection such as a right hepatectomy may be safely performed in patients with underlying liver disease, provided no additional risk factors are present. Patients with a preoperative increase in ASAT should undergo a liver biopsy to rule out the presence of grade 4 fibrosis, which should contraindicate this resection. (+info)
Predicting bone loss following orthotopic liver transplantation.
BACKGROUND: Hepatic osteodystrophy occurs in the majority of patients with advanced chronic liver disease with the abnormalities in bone metabolism accelerating following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). AIMS: To examine changes in bone mineral density (BMD) following OLT and to investigate factors that lead to bone loss. METHODS: Twelve patients had BMD (at both the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN)) and biochemical markers measured preoperatively and for 24 months following OLT. RESULTS: BMD was low in 75% of patients prior to OLT and decreased significantly from baseline at the LS at three months and the FN at six months. BMD began to increase thereafter at both sites, approaching baseline values at the LS by 12 months. Bone formation markers, osteocalcin and procollagen type I carboxy propeptide, decreased immediately post-OLT, with a concomitant increase seen in the resorption markers pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline. This resulted in a negative uncoupling index early post-OLT, that rebounded to positive values after six months. There was a significant correlation between the change in the uncoupling index between six and three months which preceded the increase in BMD at 12 months. The decrease in BMD recorded early post-OLT correlated with vitamin D levels at three months. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that increased resorption and inadequate formation are the major contributors to additional bone loss following OLT. Non-invasive biochemical markers precede later changes in BMD in this patient group following OLT and may have a role in investigating and planning intervention strategies to prevent bone loss in future studies. (+info)