• Probiotics for Cirrhosis?

Probiotics for Cirrhosis?

A probiotic solution significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization for hepatic encephalopathy and markers of liver disease severity in patients with cirrhosis, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Hepatic encephalopathy develops in 50%–70% of patients with cirrhosis; fewer than 50% of these patients survive for 1 year. Rifaximin and

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New Ways to Treat HCV Infection After Liver Transplant

New direct-acting agents against hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cure the infection when it recurs in patients with liver transplants. Researchers reported findings from 3 separate studies at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases last week in Boston. HCV is the leading

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  • Can Exercise Help Patients with Cirrhosis?

Can Exercise Help Patients with Cirrhosis?

Eight weeks of aerobic exercise training increased peak oxygen uptake by muscle and muscle mass, and reduced fatigue, in patients with cirrhosis, researchers report in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Cirrhosis is characterized not only by hepatic fibrosis and progressive liver dysfunction, but also reduced exercise tolerance, based on decreased peak exercise

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How Can We Tell if Patients are Still at Risk for HCC after HCV Therapy?

For patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus infection, high levels of α-fetoprotein after therapy can identify those at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers report in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In persons with chronic HCV infection, lack of sustained virologic response (SVR) 24 weeks after the end

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  • A Window of Opportunity for Treating Patients with Cirrhosis

A Window of Opportunity for Treating Patients with Cirrhosis

Despite the ability of nonselective β blockers (NSBBs) to reduce portal pressure and lower the risk of variceal hemorrhage in patients with cirrhosis, these drugs have detrimental effects on those who have developed spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, researchers show in the June issue of Gastroenterology. Variceal hemorrhage, the most common lethal complication of

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  • What is the Best Way to Care for Patients with Alcoholic Hepatitis?

What is the Best Way to Care for Patients with Alcoholic Hepatitis?

Although alcohol-related liver disease is the 8th most common cause of mortality in the US and the 2nd leading cause of mortality among all gastrointestinal diseases, there are few therapeutic options for patients or resources to support identification of new therapies. However, treatment approaches are being developed; a review in

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Are Patients Receiving the Latest Anti-HCV Drugs?

Less than 20% of patients infected with the most common Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype receive the latest drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. This low percentage could result from concerns of side effects or patient

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What are the Effects of Albumin in Patients With SBP?

Albumin infusion prevents renal impairment and reduces mortality among patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. SBP is a common bacterial infection among cirrhotic patients and a dangerous complication of ascites. Mortality can reach 30% despite antibiotic

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New Ways to Study HCV, Genotypes 3 and 4

Researchers can now study replication of Hepatitis C virus genotypes 3 and 4 in cultured cells, described in 2 articles in the January issue of Gastroenterology. These new tools will improve our understanding of how they cause liver disease, and could lead to new treatments. HCV leads to chronic infection

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Can We Prevent Portal Vein Thrombosis in Patients With Cirrhosis?

The anti-clotting agent enoxaparin prevents portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients with cirrhosis, according to the November issue of Gastroenterology. PVT can lead to portal hypertension and reduce the blood supply to the liver—some patients with acute or extensive PVT develop severe gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, or intestinal ischemia, which can progress and become

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