Lay Summaries - Volume 3 Issue 5

Lay Summary:  Our study estimates the clinical prevalence of Wilson’s disease, a rare genetic disorder of copper metabolism, in the UK. The estimated clinical prevalence is this study is markedly lower than the estimated UK genetic prevalence.
Lay Summary:  We report that alcohol induces hepatic extraction of free unsaturated fatty acids and lysophosphatidylcholines, hepatotoxic lipids which have not been previously associated with alcohol-induced liver injury. We also found that individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have reduced lipid turnover during alcohol intoxication when compared with people with alcohol-related fatty liver disease. This may explain why alcohol is particularly more harmful in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver and why elevated BMI and alcohol have a synergistic effect on the risk of liver-related death.
Lay Summary:  A total of 1,152 patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome listed for liver transplant were analysed. Patients with a low PaO2 <45 mmHg had a high likelihood of transplantation. If associated with advanced liver disease, the mortality risk was higher for patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome on the wait list. After liver transplantation, patients with a PaO2 <45 mmHg had a lower survival, but this only became significant after 2.6 years, and the median survival was 11.5 years. This suggests that patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome do benefit from transplantation.
Lay Summary:  Patients with more extended HCC (within the UCSF-DS protocol) successfully downstaged to the conventional Milan criteria do not have a higher recurrence rate after LT compared with the group remaining in the Milan criteria from listing to transplantation. Moreover, in the UCSF-DS patient group, an ALP value equal to or below 20 ng/ml at listing might be a novel tool to further optimise selection of candidates for LT.
Lay Summary:  The Toronto hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk index (THRI) is a novel prediction model used to stratify patients with cirrhosis based on future risk of HCC. In this study, the THRI was validated in an external cohort using the TRIPOD guidance. Few patients were identified as low-risk, and the THRI had a modest discriminative ability, limiting its clinical applicability.
Lay Summary:  Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is characterised by substantial disease variability between patients and fluctuating liver biochemistries. Hence, new biomarkers are needed to identify individuals with an increased risk of developing end-stage liver disease. We explore the change over time of 2 putative prognostic biomarkers in PSC, the serum Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF®) test and LSMs by ultrasound, demonstrating differences that may reflect differing abilities to discriminate risk.
Lay Summary:  Recently, metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) has been defined as fatty liver disease with signs of metabolic dysfunction. Among patients with chronic hepatitis B, MAFLD was associated with liver-related events and death. Metabolic health assessment should be encouraged among patients with chronic hepatitis B, especially in those with fatty liver disease.
Lay Summary:  Polycystic liver disease (PLD) is an incurable genetic disorder characterised by the progressive growth of hepatic cysts. We found that hepatic cystogenesis is increased when the levels of miR-345 in PLD cholangiocytes (PLDCs) are reduced by autophagy. Restoration of miR-345 in PLDCs via inhibition of autophagy decreases hepatic cystogenesis and thus, is beneficial for PLD.
Lay Summary:  This study shows that the communication of the liver to the intestine is crucial for intestinal health. Bile acids are key players in this liver-to-gut communication, and when Fxr, the master regulator of bile acid homoeostasis, is ablated in the liver, colonic gene expression is largely affected, and the protective capacity of the mucus barrier is increased.
Lay Summary:  The hepatitis B virus genome is released into the nucleoplasm of infected cells after disassembly of the viral nucleocapsids at the nuclear membrane. Herein, we show for the first time that virion-delivered hepatitis B core protein, a component of the viral capsid, can stably associate with integrated viral DNA.