Violeta Popov, MD PhD FACG Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Bariatric Endoscopy, NY VA Harbor Healthcare(Manhattan)
Division of Gastroenterology
NYU Langone Medical Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Bariatric surgery is the most effective method currently available for durable weight loss. In the first few months after surgery, patients typically experience significant weight loss. Rapid weight reduction though can lead to the development of gallstones and biliary disease, described in up to 40% of post-bariatric patients. To avoid these complications, the gallbladder was removed during open bariatric procedures in the past. However, with the advent of laparoscopic surgery, concomitant cholecystectomy with bariatric surgery is no longer performed for many reasons. The aim of is study is to assess if biliary diseases such as acute pancreatitis, acute cholecystitis, acute cholangitis, and cholecystectomy have increased with this change in practice. This is a retrospective cohort analysis of the National Inpatient Sample (NIS), the largest publicly available inpatient database in the United States of nonfederal institutions, with approximately 1000 hospitals participating and information on over 7 million inpatient admissions.
We found that from 2006 to 2014 there has been an approximately 10-fold increase in hospital admissions for biliary diseases, as well as similar increase in cholecystectomies, in patients who have a history of bariatric surgery. There was no significant change in admissions in patients without bariatric surgery between 2006 and 2014 admitted for the same biliary diseases.Continue reading →
Dr Christophe Corpechot Centre de Référence Maladie Rares: Maladies Inflammatoires des Voies Biliaires et Hépatites Auto-immunes (MIVB-H)
Filière Maladies Rares: Maladies Rares du Foie de l’Adulte et de l’Enfant
Hôpital Saint-Antoine (APHP) et Sorbonne Universités
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC, previously known as “primary biliary cirrhosis”) is a rare, chronic, slowly progressive liver disease of unknown cause, mainly affecting women of middle age. It is characterized by serum marks of autoimmunity (specific auto-antibodies), chronic inflammation and destruction of small intra-hepatic bile ducts, and consequent bile secretion impairment (chronic cholestasis) leading to the progressive development of cirrhosis and liver failure. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is the only first-line approved treatment for PBC. It improves the biochemical measures of cholestasis and prolongs survival without liver transplantation. However, 30% to 40% of UDCA-treated patients continue to have clinically significant abnormalities of their biochemical liver tests and those patients remain at high risk of developing end-stage liver disease complications.
Recently (2016), obeticholic acid (OCA) in association with UDCA has been conditionally approved in patients with an inadequate response to UDCA. This approval (FDA, EMA) was based one the results of a 1-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of OCA in patients with an incomplete response or intolerance to UDCA (POISE trial). In this trial, OCA was shown to improve the biochemical features of cholestasis (alkaline phosphatase (ALP) level < 1.67 times the upper limit of the normal range and a reduction of at least 15% from baseline) but was associated with a significant increase of pruritus, a characteristic, potentially debilitating symptom of PBC. BEZURSO is the first ever placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of a fibrate (a class of drugs known to be agonists of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha) in PBC. In this 2-year randomized double-blind trial, 100 patients with an incomplete response to UDCA were assigned to bezafibrate 400 mg/day (n=50) or placebo (n=50), all in association with continued UDCA therapy.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew L. Mason MBBS MRCPI Professor of Medicine,
Senior Scholar, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
Director, The Applied Genomic Core,
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
University of Alberta, Edmonton
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The study of viruses resembling mouse mammmary tumour virus (MMTV) dates back to the 1970s when virus like particles were discovered in breast milk of breast cancer patients. The virus was detected at low levels and ultimately researchers met a stalemate by the 1980s because no one could prove the existence of this agent. Interest waned in the study of betaretroviruses in humans when HIV was discovered in the 1980s.
We first found a similar agent in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, an autoimmune liver disease in 2003. History repeated itself in as much as others could not find the virus and challenged us to show that a significant amount of patients had evidence of proviral integrations into the human genome, the gold standard for providing proof of retroviral infection. This we achieved by isolating biliary epithelium from patients undergoing liver transplantation and then investigating the presence of betaretrovirus proviral integrations in DNA extracted from liver, lymph nodes and biliary epithelial cells using a ligation mediated PCR technique coupled with next generation sequencing. The majority of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis had viral integration and RNA detected in their biliary epithelium, the site of disease and lymph nodes; however, the virus was difficult to detect in whole liver, reflecting the problem with prior studies.