Lay Summaries - Volume 2 Issue 6

Lay Summary:  The gut barrier is crucial in cirrhosis in preventing infection-causing bacteria that normally live in the gut from accessing the liver and other organs via the bloodstream. Herein, we characterised gut inflammation by measuring different markers in stool samples from patients at different stages of cirrhosis and comparing this to healthy people. These markers, when compared with equivalent markers usually measured in blood, were found to be very different in pattern and absolute levels, suggesting that there is significant gut inflammation in cirrhosis related to different immune system pathways to that seen outside of the gut. This provides new insights into gut-specific immune disturbances that predispose to complications of cirrhosis, and emphasises that a better understanding of the gut-liver axis is necessary to develop better targeted therapies.
Lay Summary:  Remnant lipoprotein cholesterol (RLP-C) is a part of the blood cholesterol that is linked with heart disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adults. In the Raine Study, teenagers with high RLP-C levels had more severe fat accumulation in their liver. Thus, RLP-C might be the hidden link between NAFLD and future risk of heart disease.
Lay Summary:  FLAG is a real-world cohort study that examined the liver disease burden in secondary and tertiary care. Herein, 10% of patients referred to secondary care for NAFLD exhibited advanced liver disease, whilst 64% had no significant liver scarring. These findings underline the urgent need to define patient referral pathways for suspected liver disease.
Lay Summary:  Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and sarcopenia have similar pathophysiological profiles. Our data show that sarcopenia is associated with inactivity in subjects with NAFLD. The presence of sarcopenia in patients with NAFLD poses increased risk for all-cause and cardiac-specific mortality.
Lay Summary:  Isolated autosomal-dominant polycystic liver disease (ADPLD) is generally considered a rare disease. However, we demonstrate that it is a relatively common disease, which is rarely (<1:10,000 population) clinically significant.
Lay Summary:  More and more patients who have hepatitis B-related liver cancer received antiviral treatment over the past decade. The timing of starting antiviral treatment, regardless of whether it was before or after liver cancer happens, does not really matter in terms of survival benefits.
Lay Summary:  For early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma, it is important to maintain regular surveillance. However, there is currently no standard prediction model for risk stratification that can be used to establish a personalised surveillance strategy. We develop and validate a deep-learning-based model that showed better performance than previous models.
Lay Summary:  The potential regulatory activity of star strand microRNA (miRNA) species has been substantially underestimated. In this study, we investigate the role and mechanism of an overlooked star strand miRNA (miR-192-3p) in regulating hepatic steatosis and insulin signalling in the livers of mice with diabetes and mice under excessive carbohydrate consumption.
Lay Summary:  The overall quality of surgical care, as measured by TO, plays a pivotal role in the prognosis and, in particular, on the probability of statistical cure of patients with resectable early-stage HCC occurring in cirrhosis. By influencing TO, laparoscopy has an indirect impact on the probability of cure and long-term management of these patients. This study strongly supports the promising curative role of mini-invasive treatments for early-stage HCC, such as low-difficulty LLR.
Lay Summary:  Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma are allocated to curative or palliative treatment according to the stage of their disease. Hepatobiliary imaging using gadoxetic acid-enhanced MRI is more accurate than CT for treatment decision-making.
Lay Summary:  Iron depletion by repeated venesection is the mainstay of treatment for haemochromatosis, an iron-overload disorder. Venesection has been associated with several health benefits, including improvements in liver function tests, reversal of liver scarring, and reduced risk of liver cancer. During iron depletion, iron absorption from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract increases to compensate for iron lost with treatment. Iron availability is limited in the GI tract and is crucial to the growth and function of many gut bacteria. In this study we show that reduced iron availability in the colon following venesection treatment leads to a change in the composition of the gut bacteria, a finding that, to date, has not been studied in patients with haemochromatosis.