Liver/Biliary

A Better Way to Make Pluripotent Cells From Liver Cells

Researchers have identified an efficient method for creating pluripotent stem cells from differentiated liver cells, according to the April issue of Gastroenterology. This technology could lead to new methods for therapeutic regeneration of diseased or damaged tissues. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, in that they can form the 3 germ

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Why are Some Immunized Children Still At Risk for HBV Infection?

Despite immunization, children born to mothers with replicating HBV (marked by hepatitis B e antigen, or HBeAg) are still at risk for infection, according to the April issue of Gastroenterology. Mother-to-infant transmission is the major cause of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among immunized children. There have been proposals to

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What Factors Predict Recovery From Chronic HBV Infection?

A low and rapidly decreasing level of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is a good sign for patients with chronic HBV infection, according to the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Tracking progression of chronic HBV infection can be complicated—patients can have high viral loads with no symptoms, and

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Is it Safe to Donate Part of Your Liver?

Donating part of your liver is just as safe as donating a kidney—donors of these organs have survival rates similar to the rest of the population, according to an article in the February issue of Gastroenterology. With organ shortages, live-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a lifesaving alternative to transplantation from deceased

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How Do Lipids Affect Liver Disease?

Changes in lipid intake or metabolism can affect development of liver injury and fibrosis, according to two studies in mice published in the January issue of Gastroenterology. The liver is an important site of energy production and lipid metabolism. However, accumulation of excess fat in the liver promotes development of fibrosis, cirrhosis

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Can We Treat Chronic HCV Infection Without Interferon?

A potent combination of 2 drugs that directly target the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is effective in patients with chronic infection, and doesn’t require interferon therapy, according to an article in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Patients infected with HCV genotype-1 are usually treated with peginterferon and ribavirin, but approximately

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How Does Deferasirox Reduce Liver Fibrosis?

Liver fibrosis is reduced in patients with iron overload β-thalassemia and hepatitis C given the iron chelator deferasirox, according to Yves Deugnier et al. in the October issue of Gastroenterology. The liver is the main site of iron accumulation in patients with iron-overload disorders. Storage of excess iron in the

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Treatment for Gallstones?

Cholesterol gallstone disease might be treated with activators of the pregnane X receptor (PXR) such as St. John’s Wort, according to a study in the June issue of Gastroenterology. Cholesterol gallstone disease is caused by a biochemical imbalance of lipids and bile salts in the gallbladder bile. Jinhan He et

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Coffee Therapy for Hepatitis C?

Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day helps patients with hepatitis C respond to treatment, report Neal Freedman et al. in the June issue of Gastroenterology. Coffee reduces risks of progression of liver diseases and risk for hepatocellular carcinoma, so Freedman et al. investigated whether it also had benefits for patients

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As Incidence of HCV Infection Increases, a New Mouse Model to Study

The incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and its complications—hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cirrhosis—are increasing, according to Fasiha Kanwal et al. Fortunately, a new mouse model has been created to study disease progression and treatment, as described by Michael Washburn et al. These findings were reported in separate articles

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