Lay Summaries - Volume 4 Issue 12

Lay Summary:  Among French adults chronically infected with HBV referred for the first time to hepatology reference centres, about one-third had a significant liver disease. Approximately one-third of individuals met criteria for initiation of antiviral treatment based on entecavir or tenofovir or, occasionally, pegylated interferon alpha.
Lay Summary:  In individuals with metabolic alterations at risk of metabolic fatty liver disease, there is a tendency toward heightened blood coagulation (clotting), but the cause and the impact on the progression of liver disease remain unclear. Here we show that liver damage severity and metabolic alterations, but not hepatic fat, are mainly responsible for heightened coagulation in patients with metabolic fatty liver disease. By using genetic approaches, we showed that hepatic inflammation due to lipotoxicity may favour heightened coagulation, which in turn can trigger liver fibrosis, igniting a vicious cycle that leads to progressive liver disease.
Lay Summary:  People who inject drugs attending harm reduction centres represent the most difficult population to treat for hepatitis C. We show that hepatitis C treatment has a significant benefit beyond viral cure, including improving quality of life, and decreasing injection frequency and risk practices. However, intrinsic barriers and the high reinfection rates hamper the achievement of viral microelimination in this setting.
Lay Summary:  Liver and pancreatic cancers are among the most lethal of all cancers. In 50 years, survival in these cancers has slowly improved, and in the past 20 years, the development has been increasingly favourable. Widespread adoption of healthy lifestyles will be key to reducing the risk of these cancers.
Lay Summary:  The diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is based on magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). However, the role of MRCP in the prognostication of PSC is still unclear. We developed a novel, simple, and reproducible risk-score, based on MRCP findings, that showed a strong association with prognosis in individuals with PSC (DiStrict score). This score can be easily used in clinical practice and thus has the potential to be useful in clinical trials and in patient counselling and management.

Impact and Implications - Volume 4 Issue 12

Lay Summary:  For more than 40 years, azathioprine (AZA) has been considered the standard treatment for induction and maintenance of response in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). However, treatment usually needs to be maintained for life, as relapses are common after AZA cessation. Therefore, alternative treatment options are needed. Herein, we showed that the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as an alternative first-line immunosuppressant was much more efficient in the long-term than AZA as attested by the lower non-response rates at 4 weeks and higher response rates at 12 months and the end of follow-up. Moreover, AZA-treated patients were more prone to change treatment because of intolerance, whereas MMF-treated patients were more often eligible to achieve treatment withdrawal.
Lay Summary:  Recurrence of PSC (rPSC) negatively affects survival after liver transplant (LT). Modifiable risk factors could guide clinical management and prevention of rPSC. We demonstrate that an increased inflammatory state both before and after LT increases the incidence of rPSC. As these are modifiable factors, they could serve as targets for future studies and therapies. We also added further evidence to the ongoing debate regarding preventive colectomy for rPSC by reporting that in our multicenter study, we could not find an independent association between colectomy and risk of rPSC.
Lay Summary:  To elucidate the mechanism underlying regulation of ISGylation, a key process in the innate immune response, we studied changes in ISGylation-associated genes at the different stages of differentiation from iPSCs to hepatocytes. We found that high basal levels of SOCS1 inhibit STAT1 activation and subsequently IFN-induced UBE2L6 and ISGylation in iPSCs. Importantly, epigenetic regulation of SOCS1 and subsequently ISGylation may be important factors in the development of cell type-specific host defense responses in hepatocytes that should be considered when studying chronic infections and oncogenic processes in the liver.
Lay Summary:  In this study, among individuals with Child-Pugh B cirrhosis and acute variceal bleeding, the CLIF-Consortium acute decompensation (CLIF-C AD) score could predict the survival benefit from pre-emptive TIPS, with patients with higher CLIF-C AD scores benefiting more from pre-emptive TIPS. Furthermore, the CLIF-C AD score outperformed the Child B8-9 plus active bleeding criteria in terms of discriminating between those who obtained more benefit vs. less benefit from pre-emptive TIPS. Depending on prospective validation, the CLIF-C AD score could be used as the model of choice to determine who should undergo pre-emptive TIPS.
Lay Summary:  In this study, we assessed in people with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) the association of novel objective quantitative MRCP metrics automatically provided by a software tool (MRCP+) with prognostic scores and patient outcomes. We observed that MRCP+ metrics in people with PSC correlate with biochemical, elastographic, and radiological prognostic scores and are predictive of adverse outcome-free survival.
Lay Summary:  ABCB4-related LPAC syndrome associated with an ABCB4 gene variant demonstrates more frequent and severe hepatobiliary MR abnormalities. This finding supports the major role of the ABCB4 gene in the pathogenesis of LPAC syndrome.
Lay Summary:  Hepatic venous pressure gradient >10 mmHg has been described as an accurate tool for the diagnosis of liver sinusoidal obstruction syndrome after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This study shows that the sensitivity and specificity of hepatic venous pressure gradient measurement for sinusoidal obstruction syndrome are insufficient, so that liver pressure measurement should be combined with a liver biopsy in this setting.