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    Original Article Open Access
    Employment and Patient Satisfaction after Liver Transplantation
    Christopher Cao, Dina Halegoua-DeMarzio, Shady Guirguis, Crystal Chen, Jonathan M. Fenkel, Steven Herrine
    Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, Published online July 14, 2020. doi:10.14218/JCTH.2020.00010
    Abstract
    Background and Aims: This study serves to revisit the effects of liver transplantation (LT) on employment in an era of improving survival outcomes post-transplant, and [...] Read more.
    Background and Aims: This study serves to revisit the effects of liver transplantation (LT) on employment in an era of improving survival outcomes post-transplant, and to identify areas of improvement in the transplant process to better optimize post-LT employment and patient satisfaction. Methods: Prospectively, patients who had undergone LT at a single tertiary LT center were surveyed in person and by e-mail. Primary outcomes included employment rate pre- and post-LT, annual salary, weekly hours worked, barriers to re-employment, and patient satisfaction. Results: Responses were collected and analyzed from 121 patients who underwent LT. Pre-LT, 68 (56.1%) reported full-time employment, 13 (10.7%) part-time employment, and 40 (33.1%) unemployment. Post-LT, 26 (21.4%) reported continued full-time employment, 18 (14.9%) part-time employment, and 77 (63.6%) unemployment. Average weekly work hours decreased post-LT (16.1 h/week vs. 39.9 h/week). Mean annual salaries decreased post-LT (17 earning salary ≥$40,000 vs. 56 earning salary ≥$40,000). These outcomes differed from patient pre-LT expectations, with 81.0% of previously employed patients believing they would return to employment, resulting in decreased patient satisfaction. Patients working physically demanding jobs pre-LT were less likely to return to work. Reasons cited for lack of return to full employment included early fatigue and difficulty regaining physical strength. Conclusions: Re-employment rates remain low post-LT, which is particularly true for patients working physically active jobs. Fatigue is a significant barrier to re-employment and increased physical rehabilitation post-LT may prove to be beneficial. Patients should be given realistic expectations about return to employment prior to their LT. Full article
    Review Article Open Access
    Does COVID-19 Warn Us to Revisit Virus-Induced Diabetes?
    Muthuswamy Balasubramanyam
    Exploratory Research and Hypothesis in Medicine, Published online July 8, 2020. doi:10.14218/ERHM.2020.00046
    Abstract
    Diabetes is among the most frequently reported comorbidities in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and it represents a strong risk factor for developing severe, critical [...] Read more.
    Diabetes is among the most frequently reported comorbidities in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and it represents a strong risk factor for developing severe, critical and fatal forms of COVID-19. The association between diabetes and worse outcome in viral infections is not unexpected, as hyperglycemia is detrimental to the control of viremia and inflammation, and very often linked to accelerated morbidity and mortality in a majority of patients. Understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the impact of diabetes on COVID-19 progression is now under critical scrutiny in several ongoing investigations, with the ultimate aim of maximizing therapeutic outcomes. On the other hand, there is a new school of thought that COVOD-19 and its devastating ravage on multiple organs could be causally linked to new-onset diabetes. Thus, the threatening new lesson is that there might be a bidirectional relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes. This review is unique in that it summarizes the very recent literature that supports why we should revisit studying virus-induced diabetes in the context of COVID-19. Full article
    Original Article Open Access
    Clinical Factors Associated with Hepatocellular Iron Deposition in End-stage Liver Disease
    Amelia Fierro-Fine, Leana Guerin, Hasan Hicsasmaz, Kyle E. Brown
    Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, Published online July 8, 2020. doi:10.14218/JCTH.2020.00022
    Abstract
    Background and Aims: Hepatocellular iron accumulation in patients with chronic liver disease has been linked to adverse outcomes. The objective of this study was to identify [...] Read more.
    Background and Aims: Hepatocellular iron accumulation in patients with chronic liver disease has been linked to adverse outcomes. The objective of this study was to identify clinical factors associated with hemosiderosis. Methods: A total of 103 consecutive liver transplant recipients were identified, in whom liver biopsy had been performed prior to transplantation. Laboratory and clinical data at biopsy and transplant were abstracted from the medical records and hepatocyte iron was graded in the biopsy and explant. The association of change in iron score from biopsy to transplant, with the time interval between these two events, was examined using linear mixed model analysis for repeated measures. Results: Most subjects had advanced fibrosis (F3-F4) at liver biopsy, which was performed on average about 2.5 years before transplant. Over 80% of patients had no or 1+ hepatocyte iron at biopsy; iron increased between biopsy and transplant in about 40%. The only demographic or clinical feature that correlated with increased iron was the presence of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt. Increased iron at transplant was associated with higher serum iron and transferrin saturation at biopsy, and with lower hemoglobin level, greater mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, higher ferritin and model for end-stage liver disease score at transplant. Conclusions: The development of hemosiderosis in end-stage liver disease is associated with lower hemoglobin levels and alterations in red blood cell indices that are suggestive of hemolysis. These observations suggest that extravascular hemolysis may play a role in the development of secondary iron overload. Full article

Journals

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    Review Article Open Access
    Current and Future Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Updated Comprehensive Review
    Saleh Daher, Muhammad Massarwa, Ariel A. Benson, Tawfik Khoury
    Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, Published online December 17, 2017. doi:10.14218/JCTH.2017.00031
    Abstract
    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the leading causes of cancer-related mortality. The principal treatment is surgical resection or liver transplantation, depending on whether [...] Read more.
    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the leading causes of cancer-related mortality. The principal treatment is surgical resection or liver transplantation, depending on whether the patient is a suitable transplant candidate. However, in most patients with HCC the diagnosis is often late, thereby excluding the patients from definitive surgical resection. Medical treatment includes sorafenib, which is the most commonly used systemic therapy; although, it has been shown to only minimally impact patient survival by several months. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally ineffective. Due to the poor prognosis of patients with HCC, newer treatments are needed with several being in development, either in pre-clinical or clinical studies. In this review article, we provide an update on the current and future medical and surgical management of HCC. Full article
    Review Article Open Access
    Current Management of Alcoholic Hepatitis and Future Therapies
    Behnam Saberi, Alia S. Dadabhai, Yoon-Young Jang, Ahmet Gurakar, Esteban Mezey
    Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, Published online June 28, 2016. doi:10.14218/JCTH.2016.00006
    Abstract
    Alcohol is one of the most common etiologies of liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease overall is the second most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States. [...] Read more.
    Alcohol is one of the most common etiologies of liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease overall is the second most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States. It encompasses a spectrum of disease, including fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis (AH), and alcoholic cirrhosis. AH can range from mild to severe disease, with severe disease being defined as: Discriminant Function (DF) ≥ 32, or Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) ≥ 21, or presence of hepatic encephalopathy. Management of the mild disease consists mainly of abstinence and supportive care. Severe AH is associated with significant mortality. Currently, there is no ideal medical treatment for this condition. Besides alcohol cessation, corticosteroids have been used with conflicting results and are associated with an inherent risk of infection. Overall steroids have shown short term benefit when compared to placebo, but they have no obvious long term benefits. Pentoxifylline does not improve survival in patients with severe AH and is no longer recommended based on the results of the STOPAH (Steroid Or Pentoxifylline for Alcoholic Hepatitis) trial. Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents are associated with increased risk of life threatening infections and death. Currently, early stage trials are underway, mainly targeting novel pathways based on disease pathogenesis, including modulation of innate immune system, inhibition of gut-liver axis and cell death pathways, and activation of transcription factor farnesyl X receptor (FXR). Future treatment may lie in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, which is currently under investigation for the study of pathogenesis, drug discovery, and stem cell transplantation. Liver transplantation has been reported with good results in highly selected patients but is controversial due to limited organ supply. Full article
    Review Article Open Access
    Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity: a Comprehensive Update
    Eric Yoon, Arooj Babar, Moaz Choudhary, Matthew Kutner, Nikolaos Pyrsopoulos
    Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology, Published online June 15, 2016. doi:10.14218/JCTH.2015.00052
    Abstract
    Hepatic injury and subsequent hepatic failure due to both intentional and non-intentional overdose of acetaminophen (APAP) has affected patients for decades, and involves the cornerstone [...] Read more.
    Hepatic injury and subsequent hepatic failure due to both intentional and non-intentional overdose of acetaminophen (APAP) has affected patients for decades, and involves the cornerstone metabolic pathways which take place in the microsomes within hepatocytes. APAP hepatotoxicity remains a global issue; in the United States, in particular, it accounts for more than 50% of overdose-related acute liver failure and approximately 20% of the liver transplant cases. The pathophysiology, disease course and management of acute liver failure secondary to APAP toxicity remain to be precisely elucidated, and adverse patient outcomes with increased morbidity and mortality continue to occur. Although APAP hepatotoxicity follows a predictable timeline of hepatic failure, its clinical presentation might vary. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) therapy is considered as the mainstay therapy, but liver transplantation might represent a life-saving procedure for selected patients. Future research focus in this field may benefit from shifting towards obtaining antidotal knowledge at the molecular level, with focus on the underlying molecular signaling pathways. Full article
Special Features

Author Interview: Ashwani Singal 

Author of "Diabetes Mellitus Predicts Occurrence of Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Cancer in Alcoholic Liver and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases"

J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2015 Mar; 3(1): 9–16. Published online 2015 Mar 15. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2015.00001.

Author Interview: Lucija Virovic Jukic

Author of "Hepatitis C Virus, Insulin Resistance, and Steatosis"

J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2016 Mar; 4(1): 66–75. Published online 2015 Mar 15. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2015.00051.

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