• Can we Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients with Cirrhosis?

Can we Reduce Muscle Cramps in Patients with Cirrhosis?

L-carnitine appears to be safe and effective for reducing muscle cramps in patients with cirrhosis, researchers report in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Many patients with cirrhosis develop frequent muscle cramps, which reduce their quality of life. L-carnitine (L-beta-hydroxy-gamma-N-trimethyl aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that transports

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  • What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

What Causes Different Types of Fatty Liver Disease?

Hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis are increasing in prevalence, and can progress to histologically identical, more severe liver disease. They are associated with 3 main factors: alcohol, obesity or metabolic syndrome, and exposure to toxins. Researchers review the similarities, differences, and pathogenic mechanisms of alcohol-associated steatohepatitis (ASH), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and toxicant-associated fatty liver

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  • How Many Patients are Screened for HBV Infection Before Chemotherapy?

How Many Patients are Screened for HBV Infection Before Chemotherapy?

Only a small percentage of patients receiving chemotherapy are screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, although the proportion of patients screened has increased slightly over the past decade, researchers report in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Strategies are needed to ensure that patients receiving chemotherapy are

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  • Does FibroScan Accurately Assess Liver Fibrosis?

Does FibroScan Accurately Assess Liver Fibrosis?

Vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE) with FibroScan can provide an accurate assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis, but operator-related and patient-related factors affect measurements, report 2 articles published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The lowest levels of variation occur in patients with no

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  • Hepatitis C Drugs Might be Cost Effective but Demand Could Bust the Healthcare Bank

Hepatitis C Drugs Might be Cost Effective but Demand Could Bust the Healthcare Bank

Treating patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection using recently approved direct-acting agents can be cost effective, but will also have substantial effects on healthcare costs, researchers show. Recently approved drugs cure more than 90% of patients with hepatitis C and could make the liver disease rare in the United

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  • Restoring Immune Regulation to Patients With Alcoholic Hepatitis

Restoring Immune Regulation to Patients With Alcoholic Hepatitis

Patients with alcoholic hepatitis have dysfunctional T-cell and natural killer cell responses that lead to overwhelming bacterial infections. Researchers report in the March issue of Gastroenterology that the immune impairment is mediated by endotoxin-induced over-expression of proteins called programmed cell death 1 (PD1) and mucin domain–containing protein 3 (TIM3), which suppress the immune

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  • An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

An Effective and Long-lasting Hepatitis E Vaccine

A long-term study of a hepatitis E virus (HEV) vaccine showed that it is 86.8% effective and that immunity can last for up to 4.5 years. In a blinded, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, Jun Zhang et al randomly assigned 112,604 healthy adults in Dongtai (in the Jiangsu province of China)

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  • 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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