(1/6573) 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)

(2/6573) Performance and specificity of monoclonal immunoassays for cyclosporine monitoring: how specific is specific?

BACKGROUND: Immunoassays designed for the selective measurement of cyclosporin A (CsA) inadvertently show cross-reactivity for CsA metabolites. The extent and clinical significance of the resulting overestimation is controversial. A comprehensive assessment of old and new methods in clinical specimens is needed. METHODS: In a comprehensive evaluation, CsA was analyzed in 145 samples with the new CEDIA assay and compared with the Emit assay with the old and new pretreatments, the TDx monoclonal and polyclonal assays, the AxSYM, and HPLC. All samples were from patients with liver and/or kidney transplants. RESULTS: The CEDIA offered the easiest handling, followed by the AxSYM, which showed the longest calibration stability. The TDx monoclonal assay provided the lowest detection limit and the lowest CVs. The mean differences compared with HPLC were as follows: Emit, 9-12%; CEDIA, 18%; AxSYM, 29%; and TDx monoclonal, 57%. The CycloTrac RIA paralleled the Emit results. In contrast to the mean differences, substantial (>200%) and variable overestimations of the CsA concentration were observed in individual patient samples. Metabolic ratios, estimates of the overall concentrations of several cross-reacting metabolites (nonspecific TDx polyclonal/specific reference method), correlated with the apparent biases of the various monoclonal assays. Metabolic ratios varied up to 10-fold, which translated into biases for individual samples between -7% and +174%. The higher the cross-reactivity of an assay was, the higher was the range of biases observed. The interindividual differences markedly exceeded other factors of influence (organ transplanted, hepatic function). CONCLUSION: Because assay bias cannot be predicted in individual samples, substantially erratic CsA dosing can result. The specificity of CsA assays for parent CsA remains a major concern.  (+info)

(3/6573) Qualitative and semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction testing for cytomegalovirus DNA in serum allows prediction of CMV related disease in liver transplant recipients.

AIM: To identify cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in liver transplant recipients by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques and to separate the cases in which CMV related disease will occur, for whom treatment is indicated, from those in whom infection will remain innocuous. METHODS: The combination of qualitative and semiquantitative PCR of serum and urine was assessed to determine whether these assays can identify those at risk of CMV related disease and compared their performance with conventional approaches to diagnosis. RESULTS: Qualitative PCR of serum had superior specificity, sensitivity, and positive and negative predictive values compared with urine DEAFF (detection of early antigen fluorescent foci) and PCR of urine. All episodes of CMV related disease were associated with the presence of CMV DNA by PCR in serum or urine; CMV was detected before clinical onset in 70% and 60% of cases, respectively. The period over which CMV DNA could be detected was not correlated with CMV related disease. Both peak viral load and cumulative viral load estimated using a semiquantitative PCR method on serum samples positive by the qualitative method could be used to distinguish asymptomatic infection from CMV related disease with 100% specificity and sensitivity. In contrast semiquantitative PCR of urine was of little value. CONCLUSIONS: An approach based on PCR testing with a combination of qualitative and subsequently semiquantitative serum samples would improve the diagnosis of CMV infection and aid identification of those patients at risk of CMV related disease, allowing treatment to be targeted specifically.  (+info)

(4/6573) Primary adult liver transplantation under tacrolimus: more than 90 months actual follow-up survival and adverse events.

The introduction of tacrolimus has shown decreased rates of acute and steroid-resistant rejection after liver transplantation (LTx). The aim of the present study is to examine the long-term efficacy and safety of tacrolimus in primary liver transplant recipients. The first 121 consecutive adults (aged >16 years) who underwent primary LTx at a single center from August 1989 to February 1990 were followed up until August 1997. The mean follow-up was 93.2 +/- 1.2 months (range, 90.5 to 96.5 months). Patient survival, graft survival, rate of rejection, and adverse events were examined. The actual 7-year patient survival rate was 67.8%, and the graft survival rate was 63.6%. Infections, recurrence of disease, de novo malignancies, and cardiovascular events constituted the main causes of graft loss and death in the long term. Graft loss related to acute or chronic rejection was rare. The rate of acute rejection beyond 2 years was approximately 3% per year, and most rejections were steroid responsive. Approximately 70% of the patients received only tacrolimus after 1 year. Four patients developed end-stage renal disease, and 2 patients underwent kidney transplantation. Hyperkalemia and hypertension were observed in one third of the patients. New-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus was observed in 9% and 13% of the patients at the 1-year and 7-year follow-up, respectively. Seven patients developed de novo malignancies, including two skin malignancies. Six patients developed posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder during the entire follow-up period. Actual patient and graft survival at 7 years was excellent, and few adverse events developed after the first year. Graft loss from acute or chronic rejection was rare under tacrolimus, and approximately 70% of the patients were steroid free on tacrolimus monotherapy after the first year after LTx.  (+info)

(5/6573) Detection of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in sera from transplant recipients with lymphoproliferative disorders.

Early diagnosis of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) is important because many patients respond to reduction in immunosuppression, especially if PTLD is detected at an early stage. Previous studies have found elevated EBV DNA levels in blood from patients with PTLD, but these assays required isolation of cellular blood fractions and quantitation. We evaluated the presence of cell-free EBV DNA in serum from solid-organ transplant recipients as a marker for PTLD. Five of 6 transplant recipients with histopathologically documented PTLD had EBV DNA detected in serum at the time of diagnosis (sensitivity = 83%), compared with 0 of 16 matched transplant recipients without PTLD (specificity = 100%) (P < 0.001 [Fisher's exact test]). Furthermore, EBV DNA was detected in serum 8 and 52 months prior to the diagnosis of PTLD in two of three patients for whom stored sera were analyzed. Detection of EBV DNA in serum appears to be a useful marker for the early detection of PTLD in solid-organ transplant recipients. Further studies to define the role of such assays in evaluating solid-organ transplant patients at risk for PTLD are warranted.  (+info)

(6/6573) Hepatitis C virus recurrence after liver transplantation.

Cirrhosis due to hepatitis C virus (HCV) is now the most common indication of liver transplantation in Western Europe and the United States. In the absence of effective prophylaxis, recurrent HCV infection is almost inevitable. Though the natural history and intermediate term outcome of recurrent HCV are now better documented, those factors which may influence the recurrence of hepatitis and consequent progression of graft disease remain unclear. Interferon (IFN) as a sole agent for the treatment of recurrent infection has proved unsatisfactory. Early intervention with a combination of IFN and ribavirin seems promising, and this approach may prevent or delay progression of HCV related graft disease after liver transplantation.  (+info)

(7/6573) Split liver transplantation.

OBJECTIVE: This study reviews the indications, technical aspects, and experience with ex vivo and in situ split liver transplantation. BACKGROUND: The shortage of cadaveric donor livers is the most significant factor inhibiting further application of liver transplantation for patients with end-stage liver disease. Pediatric recipients, although they represent only 15% to 20% of the liver transplant registrants, suffer the greatest from the scarcity of size-matched cadaveric organs. Split liver transplantation provides an ideal means to expand the donor pool for both children and adults. METHODS: This review describes the evolution of split liver transplantation from reduced liver transplantation and living-related liver transplantation. The two types of split liver transplantation, ex vivo and in situ, are compared and contrasted, including the technique, selection of patients for each procedure, and the most current results. RESULTS: Ex vivo splitting of the liver is performed on the bench after removal from the cadaver. It is usually divided into two grafts: segments 2 and 3 for children, and segments 4 to 8 for adults. Since 1990, 349 ex vivo grafts have been reported. Until recently, graft and patient survival rates have been lower and postoperative complication rates higher in ex vivo split grafts than in whole organ cadaveric transplantation. Further, the use of ex vivo split grafts has been relegated to the elective adult patient because of the high incidence of graft dysfunction (right graft) when placed in an emergent patient. Reasons for the poor function of ex vivo splits except in elective patients have focused on graft damage due to prolonged cold ischemia times and rewarming during the long benching procedure. In situ liver splitting is accomplished in a manner identical to the living donor procurement. This technique for liver splitting results in the same graft types as in the ex vivo technique. However, graft and patient survival rates reported for in situ split livers have exceeded 85% and 90%, respectively, with a lower incidence of postoperative complications, including biliary and reoperation for bleeding. These improved results have also been observed in the urgent patient. CONCLUSION: Splitting of the cadaveric liver expands the donor pool of organs and may eliminate the need for living-related donation for children. Recent experience with the ex vivo technique, if applied to elective patients, results in patient and graft survival rates comparable to whole-organ transplantation, although postoperative complication rates are higher. In situ splitting provides two grafts of optimal quality that can be applied to the entire spectrum of transplant recipients: it is the method of choice for expanding the cadaver liver donor pool.  (+info)

(8/6573) Beta-glucan reflects liver injury after preservation and transplantation in dogs.

Graft failure and extrahepatic organ complications, which frequently develop after transplantation, may be related to inflammatory mediators stimulated by endotoxin (ET). The role of endotoxemia after liver transplantation is controversial and may depend upon differences in the ET assay method used in the various contradicting studies. While the standard Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) is reactive for ET and beta-glucan, a novel turbidimetric assay method enables separate determinations of ET and beta-glucan. Beagle dogs undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation were divided into two groups. In Group I (n = 6) the grafts were transplanted immediately and in Group II (n = 6) grafts were preserved for 48 h in University of Wisconsin (UW) solution. Animals received cyclosporine immunosuppression and were followed for 14 days. Daily measurements of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were performed. Samples for ET and beta-glucan measurement were collected serially and processed using the turbidimetric assay method. While no graft failure was seen in Group I, three of six Group II animals died from graft failure within 1 day after transplantation. Preservation and reperfusion injury was much more severe in the Group II grafts than in Group I grafts. While endotoxemia could not be detected, postoperative beta-glucan levels (undetectable pretransplant) were seen in both groups. Beta-glucan levels were much higher in Group II grafts than in Group I grafts, and correlated with the severity of liver damage. In conclusion, this study shows that beta-glucan, instead of ET, appears during the early posttransplant period. We believe that posttransplant elevation of beta-glucan is related to liver damage, especially endothelial damage by preservation and reperfusion.  (+info)