Publications by authors named "Michael Praktiknjo"

69 Publications

Extrahepatic Surgery in Cirrhosis Significantly Increases Portal Pressure in Preclinical Animal Models.

Front Physiol 2021 20;12:720898. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, Center for Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension Bonn (CCB), University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Liver cirrhosis is a relevant comorbidity with increasing prevalence. Postoperative decompensation and development of complications in patients with cirrhosis remains a frequent clinical problem. Surgery has been discussed as a precipitating event for decompensation and complications of cirrhosis, but the underlying pathomechanisms are still obscure. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of abdominal extrahepatic surgery in cirrhosis on portal pressure and fibrosis in a preclinical model. Compensated liver cirrhosis was induced using tetrachlormethane (CCL4) inhalation and bile duct ligation (BDL) models in rats, non-cirrhotic portal hypertension by partial portal vein ligation (PPVL). Intestinal manipulation (IM) as a model of extrahepatic abdominal surgery was performed. 2 and 7 days after IM, portal pressure was measured . Hydroxyproline measurements, Sirius Red staining and qPCR measurements of the liver were performed for evaluation of fibrosis development and hepatic inflammation. Laboratory parameters of liver function in serum were analyzed. Portal pressure was significantly elevated 2 and 7 days after IM in both models of cirrhosis. In the non-cirrhotic model the trend was the same, while not statistically significant. In both cirrhotic models, IM shows strong effects of decompensation, with significant weight loss, elevation of liver enzymes and hypoalbuminemia. 7 days after IM in the BDL group, Sirius red staining and hydroxyproline levels showed significant progression of fibrosis and significantly elevated mRNA levels of hepatic inflammation compared to the respective control group. A progression of fibrosis was not observed in the CCL4 model. In animal models of cirrhosis with continuous liver injury (BDL), IM increases portal pressure, and development of fibrosis. Perioperative portal pressure and hence inflammation processes may be therapeutic targets to prevent post-operative decompensation in cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.720898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8418541PMC
August 2021

Role of circulating angiogenin levels in portal hypertension and TIPS.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(8):e0256473. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, University Hospital, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Background: Pathogenesis of portal hypertension is multifactorial and includes pathologic intrahepatic angiogenesis, whereby TIPS insertion is an effective therapy of portal hypertension associated complications. While angiogenin is a potent contributor to angiogenesis in general, little is known about its impact on TIPS function over time.

Methods: In a total of 118 samples from 47 patients, angiogenin concentrations were measured in portal and inferior caval vein plasma at TIPS insertion (each blood compartment n = 23) or angiographic intervention after TIPS (each blood compartment n = 36) and its relationship with patient outcome was investigated.

Results: Angiogenin levels in the inferior caval vein were significantly higher compared to the portal vein (P = 0.048). Ten to 14 days after TIPS, inferior caval vein angiogenin level correlated inversely with the portal systemic pressure gradient (P<0.001), measured invasively during control angiography. Moreover, patients with TIPS revision during this angiography, showed significantly lower angiogenin level in the inferior caval vein compared to patients without TIPS dysfunction (P = 0.01).

Conclusion: In cirrhosis patients with complications of severe portal hypertension, circulating levels of angiogenin are derived from the injured liver. Moreover, angiogenin levels in the inferior caval vein after TIPS may predict TIPS dysfunction.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256473PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386873PMC
August 2021

Alpha-Fetoprotein- and CD40Ligand-Expressing Dendritic Cells for Immunotherapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jul 5;13(13). Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

Dendritic cells (DC) as professional antigen presenting cells are able to prime T-cells against the tumor-associated antigen α-fetoprotein (AFP) for immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, a strong immunosuppressive tumor environment limits their efficacy in patients. The co-stimulation with CD40Ligand (CD40L) is critical in the maturation of DC and T-cell priming. In this study, the impact of intratumoral (i.t.) CD40L-expressing DC to improve vaccination with murine (m)AFP-transduced DC (Ad-mAFP-DC) was analyzed in subcutaneous (s.c.) and orthotopic murine HCC. Murine DC were adenovirally transduced with Ad-mAFP or Ad-CD40L. Hepa129-mAFP-cells were injected into the right flank or the liver of C3H-mice to induce subcutaneous (s.c.) and orthotopic HCC. For treatments, 10 Ad-mAFP-transduced DC were inoculated s.c. followed by 10 CD40L-expressing DC injected intratumorally (i.t.). S.c. inoculation with Ad-mAFP-transduced DC, as vaccine, induced a delay of tumor-growth of AFP-positive HCC compared to controls. When s.c.-inoculation of Ad-mAFP-DC was combined with i.t.-application of Ad-CD40L-DC synergistic antitumoral effects were observed and complete remissions and long-term survival in 62% of tumor-bearing animals were achieved. Analysis of the tumor environment at different time points revealed that s.c.-vaccination with Ad-mAFP-DC seems to stimulate tumor-specific effector cells, allowing an earlier recruitment of effector T-cells and a Th1 shift within the tumors. After i.t. co-stimulation with Ad-CD40L-DC, production of Th1-cytokines was strongly increased and accompanied by a robust tumor infiltration of mature DC, activated CD4-, CD8-T-cells as well as reduction of regulatory T-cells. Moreover, Ad-CD40L-DC induced tumor cell apoptosis. Intratumoral co-stimulation with CD40L-expressing DC significantly improves vaccination with Ad-mAFP-DC in pre-established HCC in vivo. Combined therapy caused an early and strong Th1-shift in the tumor environment as well as higher tumor apoptosis, leading to synergistic tumor regression of HCC. Thus, CD40L co-stimulation represents a promising tool for improving DC-based immunotherapy of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13133375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8269346PMC
July 2021

Elective Surgery but not Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Precipitates Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure.

Hepatol Commun 2021 Jul 26;5(7):1265-1277. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Internal Medicine I University of Bonn Bonn Germany.

Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a syndrome associated with organ failure and high short-term mortality. Presence of ACLF at interventions, such as surgery or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS), has been shown to determine outcome, but those interventions have also been attributed to precipitate ACLF in different studies. However, dedicated investigation for the risk of ACLF development in these interventions, especially in elective settings, has not been conducted. Patients with cirrhosis undergoing elective surgery were propensity score matched and compared to patients receiving TIPS. The primary endpoint was ACLF development within 28 days after the respective procedure. The secondary endpoint was 3-month and 1-year mortality. In total, 190 patients were included. Within 28 days, ACLF developed in 24% of the surgery and 3% of the TIPS cohorts, with the highest ACLF incidence between 3 and 8 days. By day 28 after the procedure, ACLF improved in the TIPS cohort. In both cohorts, patients developing ACLF within 28 days after surgery or TIPS placement showed significantly worse survival than patients without ACLF development at follow-up. After 12 months, mortality was significantly higher in the surgery cohort compared to the TIPS cohort (40% vs. 23%, respectively;  = 0.031). Regression analysis showed a European Foundation Chronic Liver Failure Consortium acute decompensation (CLIF-C AD) score ≥50 and surgical procedure as independent predictors of ACLF development. CLIF-C AD score ≥50, C-reactive protein, and ACLF development within 28 days independently predicted 1-year mortality. Elective surgical interventions in patients with cirrhosis precipitate ACLF development and ultimately death, but TIPS plays a negligible role in the development of ACLF. Elective surgery in patients with CLIF-C AD ≥50 should be avoided, while the window of opportunity would be CLIF-C AD <50.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8279462PMC
July 2021

Glue Embolization of Gastroesophageal Varices during Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) Improves Survival Compared to Coil-only Embolization-A Single-Center Retrospective Study.

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2021 Aug 21;44(8):1240-1250. Epub 2021 May 21.

Department of Radiology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Purpose: To compare the safety and effectiveness of coil versus glue embolization of gastroesophageal varices during transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) creation.

Materials And Methods: In this monocentric retrospective study 104 (males: 67 (64%)) patients receiving TIPS with concomitant embolization of GEV and a minimum follow-up of one year (2008-2017) were included. Primary outcome parameter was overall survival (6 week; 1 year). Six-week overall survival was assessed as a surrogate for treatment failure as proposed by the international Baveno working group. Secondary outcome parameters were development of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), variceal rebleeding and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier with log-rank test and adjusted Cox regression analysis.

Results: Indications for TIPS were refractory ascites (n = 33) or variceal bleeding (n = 71). Embolization was performed using glue with or without coils (n = 40) (Group G) or coil-only (n = 64) (Group NG). Overall survival was significantly better in group G (p = 0.022; HR = -3.333). Six-week survival was significantly lower in group NG (p = 0.014; HR = 6.945). Rates of development of ACLF were significantly higher in group NG after 6 months (NG = 14; G = 6; p = 0.039; HR = 3.243). Rebleeding rates (NG = 6; G = 3; p = 0.74) and development of HE (NG = 22; G = 15; p = 0.75) did not differ significantly between groups.

Conclusion: Usage of glue in embolization of GEV may improve overall survival, reduce treatment failure and may be preferable over coil embolization alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00270-021-02852-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249301PMC
August 2021

Controlled underdilation using novel VIATORR® controlled expansion stents improves survival after transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt implantation.

JHEP Rep 2021 Jun 3;3(3):100264. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

Background & Aims: Smaller 8-mm diameter transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) appear to be more beneficial than larger 10-mm TIPS stent-grafts, but lack the ability for secondary dilation in cases of clinical ineffectiveness. Underdilated VIATORR® TIPS stent grafts (VTS) expand passively, whereas novel VIATORR Controlled Expansion (VCX) stent grafts do not. This study evaluated the impact on survival of underdilated VCX compared with VTS in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Methods: This was a prospective case-control study including patients with cirrhosis receiving TIPS using 10-mm VCX underdilated to 8 mm. Patients with cirrhosis receiving 10-mm VTS underdilated to 8 mm were matched for age, sex, indication for TIPS, and liver function.

Results: A total of 114 patients (47 VCX, 47 VTS, and 20 fully dilated VCX/VTS) were included. After TIPS implantation, underdilated VCX diameter was 8.0 (7.8-9.2) mm at a median time of 359 (87-450) days, compared with VTS at 9.9 (9.7-10.0) mm ( <0.001). The portosystemic pressure gradient immediately after TIPS procedure and after 7 days did not change significantly in VCX [mean 9.4 (± 0.8) 10.4 (± 0.7) mmHg,  = 0.115). Hospital readmission rates for hepatic encephalopathy were 23% (n = 11) 51% (n = 24) for VCX and VTS ( <0.001), respectively. Patients with VCX had significantly lower rates of large-volume paracentesis (n = 5 [11%] n = 10 [21%],  = 0.017) and heart failure (n = 1 [2%] n = 7 [15%],  = 0.015). One-year mortality for underdilated VCX and VTS was 15% (n = 7) and 30% (n = 14) and, for fully dilated VCX/VTS, was 45% (n = 9) (log-rank  = 0.008), respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that VCX stent grafts underdilated to 8 mm do not passively expand to nominal diameter and suggests reduced hospital readmissions because of hepatic encephalopathy, uncontrolled ascites, and heart failure, and improved 1-year survival compared with underdilated VTS.

Lay Summary: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) improves survival in selected patients with liver cirrhosis and acute variceal bleeding or refractory ascites. Smaller 8-mm diameter TIPS stent grafts appear to improve patient outcome compared with larger 10-mm diameter stent grafts. Novel VIATORR® Controlled Expansion (VCX) stent grafts facilitate safe and stable underdilation to 8 mm of large 10-mm diameter stent grafts with improved patient outcome (survival, hepatic encephalopathy, ascites and heart failure) compared with legacy VIATORR TIPS stent graft (VTS). Thus, the use of underdilated VCX could preserve heart function.

Clinical Trials Registration: The study is registered at Clinicaltrials.govNCT03628807.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2021.100264DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113713PMC
June 2021

Late recurrences of pancreatic cancer in patients with long-term survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy.

J Gastrointest Oncol 2021 Apr;12(2):474-483

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr - University Bochum, Gudrunstr. 56, 44791 Bochum, Germany.

Background: Pancreatic cancer remains a relevant clinical problem due to poor prognosis. Even after curative pancreaticoduodenectomy tumor recurrences occur in up to 80%. Risk factors for postoperative tumor recurrences have been identified before, but data on risk factors for tumor recurrences in patients with long-term-survival is scarce.

Methods: In this retrospective study consecutive long-term survival-patients (defined as at least 60 months survival) undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer from 2007-2014 were identified in the 2nd largest pancreatic surgery center in Germany. Clinical, pathohistological and laboratory values were analyzed to identify risk factors for tumor recurrence.

Results: Thirty-four of one-hundred-sixty-seven patients were identified as long-term-survival-patients in the study period. Of those, 10 patients (29.4%) suffered from tumor recurrence. Lymph vessel invasion was identified as an independent risk factor (P=0.031, hazard ratio 13.127, 95% confidence interval: 1.270-135.698). Median postoperative time to tumor recurrence in long-term-survival-patients was 49 months. Overall survival after diagnosis of tumor recurrence was 33 months. 80% (N=8) of the patients were asymptomatic. Half of the patients (N=5) suffered from local disease, with 40% undergoing curative tumor resection. CA 19-9 levels were significantly elevated at 57 U/mL (normal <27 U/mL).

Conclusions: Tumor recurrence in long-term-survival-patients is typically asymptomatic. Especially long-term-survival-patients with lymph vessel invasion are more likely to develop tumor recurrence. Therefore, a structured follow-up program including CT-scans and CA 19-9 surveillance must be continued in all patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy even in cases of long-term-survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jgo-20-433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8107632PMC
April 2021

Prognostic Value of the CLIF-C AD Score in Patients With Implantation of Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt.

Hepatol Commun 2021 04 5;5(4):650-660. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Medicine II Medical Center University of Freiburg Faculty of Medicine University of Freiburg Freiburg Germany.

Prognostic assessment of patients with liver cirrhosis allocated for implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a challenging task in clinical practice. The aim of our study was to assess the prognostic value of the CLIF-C AD (Acute Decompensation) score in patients with TIPS implantation. Transplant-free survival (TFS) and 3-month mortality were reviewed in 880 patients who received TIPS implantation for the treatment of cirrhotic portal hypertension. The prognostic value of the CLIF-C AD score was compared with the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, Child-Pugh score, and albumin-bilirubin (ALBI) score using Harrell's C concordance index. The median TFS after TIPS implantation was 40.0 (34.6-45.4) months. The CLIF-C AD score (c = 0.635 [0.609-0.661]) was superior in the prediction of TFS in comparison to MELD score (c = 0.597 [0.570-0.623],  = 0.006), Child-Pugh score (c = 0.579 [0.552-0.606],  < 0.001), and ALBI score (c = 0.573 [0.545-0.600],  < 0.001). However, the CLIF-C AD score did not perform significantly better than the MELD-Na score (c = 0.626 [0.599-0.653],  = 0.442). There were no profound differences in the scores' ranking with respect to indication for TIPS implantation, stent type, or underlying liver disease. Subgroup analyses revealed that a CLIF-C AD score >45 was a predictor of 3-month mortality in the supposed low-risk group of patients with a MELD score ≤12 (14.7% vs. 5.1%,  < 0.001). The CLIF-C AD score is suitable for prognostic assessment of patients with cirrhotic portal hypertension receiving TIPS implantation. In the prediction of TFS, the CLIF-C AD score is superior to MELD score, Child-Pugh score, and ALBI score but not the MELD-Na score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034565PMC
April 2021

Impact of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt creation on the central lymphatic system in liver cirrhosis.

Sci Rep 2021 03 29;11(1):7065. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital of Bonn, Venusberg-Campus 1, 53105, Bonn, Germany.

The puropse of this study was to evaluate associations of cisterna chyli (CCh) diameter with portal hemodynamics and the influence of TIPS-creation in cirrhotic patients. 93 cirrhotic patients (57 male, mean age 59 years) received CT prior to TIPS-creation. 38/93 additionally underwent post-interventional CT. CCh-diameter was measured. After categorization into patients with and without large venous collaterals (i.e. > 6 mm), data were analyzed regarding associations between CCh-diameter, clinical and portal-hemodynamic parameters and diameter-changes after TIPS-creation. Patient survival post-TIPS was analyzed. Median portosystemic pressure-gradient decreased from 20 to 9 mmHg after TIPS-creation. Large venous collaterals were observed in 59 patients. In 69/93 patients (74.2%) the CCh was detectable. Mean pre-interventional diameter was 9.4 ± 2.7 mm (large collaterals: 8.7 ± 2.0 mm, no large collaterals: 10.7 ± 3.2 mm, p = 0.003). CCh-diameter correlated strongly with pre-TIPS portal-pressure (Rs = 0.685, p = 0.0001), moderately with portosystemic-gradient (Rs = 0.524, p = 0.006), liver shear-wave-elastography (Rs = 0.597, p = 0.004) and spleen size (Rs = 0.501, p = 0.01) in patients without large collaterals, but not in patients with large collaterals. Post-TIPS CCh-diameter decreased significantly from 10.2 ± 2.8 mm to 8.3 ± 3.0 mm (p < 0.001). Patients without a detectable CCh on CT survived significantly shorter. The diameter of the CCh is associated with portal-pressure and decreases after TIPS-creation in cirrhotic patients, reflecting a portal decompression mechanism via the lymphatic system. Lack of larger central lymphatics detectable on CT may be associated with shorter survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86006-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007746PMC
March 2021

Soluble TIM3 and Its Ligands Galectin-9 and CEACAM1 Are in Disequilibrium During Alcohol-Related Liver Disease and Promote Impairment of Anti-bacterial Immunity.

Front Physiol 2021 10;12:632502. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Institute of Hepatology, Foundation for Liver Research, London, United Kingdom.

Background And Aims: Immunoregulatory checkpoint receptors (CR) contribute to the profound immunoparesis observed in alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) and neutralization of inhibitory-CRs TIM3/PD1 on anti-bacterial T-cells can rescue innate and adaptive anti-bacterial immunity. Recently described soluble-CR forms can modulate immunity in inflammatory conditions, but the contributions of soluble-TIM3 and soluble-PD1 and other soluble-CRs to immune derangements in ALD remain unclear.

Methods: In Alcoholic Hepatitis (AH; = 19), alcohol-related cirrhosis (ARC; = 53) and healthy control (HC; = 27) subjects, we measured by Luminex technology (i) plasma levels of 16 soluble-CRs, 12 pro/anti-inflammatory cytokines and markers of gut bacterial translocation; (ii) pre-hepatic, post-hepatic and non-hepatic soluble-CR plasma levels in ARC patients undergoing TIPS; (iii) soluble-CRs production from ethanol-treated immunocompetent precision cut human liver slices (PCLS); (iv) whole-blood soluble-CR expression upon bacterial challenge. By FACS, we assessed the relationship between soluble-TIM3 and membrane-TIM3 and rescue of immunity in bacterial-challenged PBMCs.

Results: Soluble-TIM3 was the dominant plasma soluble-CR in ALD vs. HC ( = 0.00002) and multivariate analysis identified it as the main driver of differences between groups. Soluble-CRs were strongly correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokines, gut bacterial translocation markers and clinical indices of disease severity. Ethanol exposure or bacterial challenge did not induce soluble-TIM3 production from PCLS nor from whole-blood. Bacterial challenge prompted membrane-TIM3 hyperexpression on PBMCs from ALD patient's vs. HC ( < 0.002) and was inversely correlated with plasma soluble-TIM3 levels in matched patients. TIM3 ligands soluble-Galectin-9 and soluble-CEACAM1 were elevated in ALD plasma (AH > ARC; < 0.002). neutralization of Galectin-9 and soluble-CEACAM1 improved the defective anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory cytokine production from -challenged PBMCs in ALD patients.

Conclusions: Alcohol-related liver disease patients exhibit supra-physiological plasma levels of soluble-TIM3, particularly those with greater disease severity. This is also associated with increased levels of soluble TIM3-ligands and membrane-TIM3 expression on immune cells. Soluble-TIM3 can block the TIM3-ligand synapse and improve anti-bacterial immunity; however, the increased levels of soluble TIM3-binding ligands in patients with ALD negate any potential immunostimulatory effects. We believe that anti-TIM3 neutralizing antibodies currently in Phase I clinical trials or soluble-TIM3 should be investigated further for their ability to enhance anti-bacterial immunity. These agents could potentially represent an innovative immune-based supportive approach to rescue anti-bacterial defenses in ALD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.632502DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987668PMC
March 2021

Risk factors for perforated marginal ulcers following pancreaticoduodenectomy and prospective analysis of marginal ulcer development.

Gland Surg 2021 Feb;10(2):739-750

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Gudrunstrasse 56, 44791 Bochum, Germany.

Background: Perforated marginal ulcers (PMUs) are a feared long-term complication following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), which always require relaparotomy compared to marginal ulcers.

Methods: First, we performed a retrospective chart review for all patients who underwent PD from 2007-2016 to identify incidence and risk factors associated with PMUs. Second, we analyzed follow up gastroscopies in all patients undergoing PD from 2007-2011 to identify the overall incidence of marginal ulcers.

Results: A total of 725 patients underwent PD in the retrospective study period. 17 patients (2.3%) suffered from PMU at a median postoperative time of 13 months. These patients were significantly younger (median age: 49 vs. 62 years; P=0.02) and suffered most often from chronic pancreatitis (P<0.001). Smoking and alcohol consumption were significantly more common (P=0.01 and P=0.023). An elevated level of carcinoembryonic antigen and chronic pancreatitis were identified as independent risk factors. Overall, 373 patients were enrolled for prospective analysis. Marginal ulcers occurred in 5-5.9% over a postoperative period of 5 years.

Conclusions: Continuous treatment with proton-pump inhibitors for at least 5 years, immediate smoking cessation and follow-up gastroscopies are obligate for patients undergoing PD to avoid marginal ulcers and PMUs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/gs-20-763DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944069PMC
February 2021

Balance between macrophage migration inhibitory factor and sCD74 predicts outcome in patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis.

JHEP Rep 2021 Apr 17;3(2):100221. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Internal Medicine III, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.

Background & Aims: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an inflammatory cytokine and an important regulator of innate immune responses. We hypothesised that serum concentrations of MIF are associated with disease severity and outcome in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF).

Methods: Circulating concentrations of MIF and its soluble receptor CD74 (sCD74) were determined in sera from 292 patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis defined as new onset or worsening of ascites requiring hospitalisation. Of those, 78 (27%) had ACLF. Short-term mortality was assessed 90 days after inclusion.

Results: Although serum concentrations of MIF and sCD74 did not correlate with liver function parameters or ACLF, higher MIF (optimum cut-off >2.3 ng/ml) and lower concentrations of sCD74 (optimum cut-off <66.5 ng/ml) both indicated poorer 90-day transplant-free survival in univariate analyses (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.01 [1.26-3.22];  = 0.004 for MIF; HR 0.59 [0.38-0.92];  = 0.02 for sCD74) and after adjustment in multivariable models. Higher MIF concentrations correlated with surrogates of systemic inflammation (white blood cells,  = 0.005; C-reactive protein,  = 0.05) and were independent of genetic MIF promoter polymorphisms. Assessment of MIF plasma concentrations in portal venous blood and matched blood samples from the right atrium in a second cohort of patients undergoing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt insertion revealed a transhepatic MIF gradient with higher concentrations in the right atrial blood.

Conclusions: Serum concentrations of MIF and its soluble receptor CD74 predict 90-day transplant-free survival in patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis. This effect was independent of liver function and genetic predispositions, but rather reflected systemic inflammation. Therefore, MIF and sCD74 represent promising prognostic markers beyond classical scoring systems in patients at risk of ACLF.

Lay Summary: Inflammatory processes contribute to the increased risk of death in patients with cirrhosis and ascites. We show that patients with high serum levels of the inflammatory cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) alongside low levels of its binding receptor sCD74 in blood indicate an increased mortality risk in patients with ascites. The cirrhotic liver is a relevant source of elevated circulating MIF levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2020.100221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7890204PMC
April 2021

Refining prediction of survival after TIPS with the novel Freiburg index of post-TIPS survival.

J Hepatol 2021 Jun 26;74(6):1362-1372. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Medicine II, Medical Center University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany; PraxisZentrum für Gastroenterologie und Endokrinologie, Freiburg, Germany.

Background & Aims: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) implantation is an effective and safe treatment for complications of portal hypertension. Survival prediction is important in these patients as they constitute a high-risk population. Therefore, the aim of our study was to develop an alternative prognostic model for accurate survival prediction after planned TIPS implantation.

Methods: A total of 1,871 patients with de novo TIPS implantation for ascites or secondary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding were recruited retrospectively. The study cohort was divided into a training set (80% of study patients; n = 1,496) and a validation set (20% of study patients; n = 375). Further, patients with early (preemptive) TIPS implantation due to variceal bleeding were included as another validation cohort (n = 290). Medical data and overall survival (OS) were assessed. A Cox regression model was used to create an alternative prediction model, which includes significant prognostic factors.

Results: Age, bilirubin, albumin and creatinine were the most important prognostic factors. These parameters were included in a new score named the Freiburg index of post-TIPS survival (FIPS). The FIPS score was able to identify high-risk patients with a significantly reduced median survival of 5.0 (3.1-6.9) months after TIPS implantation in the training set. These results were confirmed in the validation set (median survival of 3.1 [0.9-5.3] months). The FIPS score showed better prognostic discrimination compared to the Child-Pugh, MELD, MELD-Na score and the bilirubin-platelet model. However, the FIPS score showed insufficient prognostic discrimination in patients with early TIPS implantation.

Conclusions: The FIPS score is superior to established scoring systems for the identification of high-risk patients with a worse prognosis following elective TIPS implantation.

Lay Summary: Implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) is a safe and effective treatment for patients with cirrhosis and clinically significant portal hypertension. However, risk stratification is a major challenge in these patients as currently available scoring systems have major drawbacks. Age, bilirubin, albumin and creatinine were included in a new risk score which was named the Freiburg index of post-TIPS survival (FIPS). The FIPS score can identify patients at high risk and may guide clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.023DOI Listing
June 2021

Two-dimensional shear wave elastography predicts survival in advanced chronic liver disease.

Gut 2021 Jan 21. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Radiology, Beaujon University Hospital, Clichy, France.

Objective: Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) is a tool used to screen for significant fibrosis and portal hypertension. The aim of this retrospective multicentre study was to develop an easy tool using LSM for clinical outcomes in advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD) patients.

Design: This international multicentre cohort study included a derivation ACLD patient cohort with valid two-dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) results. Clinical and laboratory parameters at baseline and during follow-up were recorded. LSM by transient elastography (TE) was also recorded if available. The primary outcome was overall mortality. The secondary outcome was the development of first/further decompensation.

Results: After screening 2148 patients (16 centres), 1827 patients (55 years, 62.4% men) were included in the 2D-SWE cohort, with median liver SWE (L-SWE) 11.8 kPa and a model for end stage liver disease (MELD) score of 8. Combination of MELD score and L-SWE predict independently of mortality (AUC 0.8). L-SWE cut-off at ≥20 kPa combined with MELD ≥10 could stratify the risk of mortality and first/further decompensation in ACLD patients. The 2-year mortality and decompensation rates were 36.9% and 61.8%, respectively, in the 305 (18.3%) high-risk patients (with L-SWE ≥20 kPa and MELD ≥10), while in the 944 (56.6%) low-risk patients, these were 1.1% and 3.5%, respectively. Importantly, this M10LS20 algorithm was validated by TE-based LSM and in an additional cohort of 119 patients with valid point shear SWE-LSM.

Conclusion: The M10LS20 algorithm allows risk stratification of patients with ACLD. Patients with L-SWE ≥20 kPa and MELD ≥10 should be followed closely and receive intensified care, while patients with low risk may be managed at longer intervals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323419DOI Listing
January 2021

Evaluation of impact of elective invasive examinations in patients with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt in the long-term follow up.

Z Gastroenterol 2021 Jan 11;59(1):24-34. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Medical Clinic B, Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Endocrinology, Clinical Infectiology, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany.

Introduction:  In the management of patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) insertion is well-established but common recommendations in the follow up management are inconsistent. Doppler sonography is commonly used for detection for TIPS dysfunction whilst data on the impact of elective invasive examinations are scarce.

Aim:  The aim of this retrospective analysis is to evaluate potential benefits of elective invasive examinations in the follow up management of patients after TIPS insertion METHODS:  Data of all patients receiving TIPS at the university hospitals of Muenster and Bonn between 2013 and 2018 (n = 534) were collected. The impact of performance of elective invasive examinations at 12 months after TIPS insertion on the occurrence of liver related events (LREs) and frequency of TIPS revisions within 24 months after TIPS insertion was analyzed.

Results:  No significant differences were found concerning occurrence of liver related events after 24 months depending on whether an elective invasive examination was performed. Occurrence of hepatic encephalopathy, relapse of initial indication for TIPS, as well as death or liver transplantation all did not differ. These findings were verified by a subgroup analysis including only patients who did not experience a LRE or TIPS revision within the first 12 months after TIPS procedure.

Conclusion:  The analyzed data suggest no evidence for a beneficial impact due to implementation of an elective invasive examination program after TIPS insertion. Invasive examinations should remain reserved to patients with suspected TIPS dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1330-9867DOI Listing
January 2021

Long-term survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy in patients with ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head.

Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2021 Jun 9;20(3):271-278. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Gudrunstrasse 56, Bochum 44791, Germany.

Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has the worst prognosis of all malignant tumors due to unavailable screening methods, late diagnosis with a low proportion of resectable tumors and resistance to systemic treatment. Complete tumor resection remains the cornerstone of modern multimodal strategies aiming at long-term survival. This study was performed to investigate the overall rate of long-term survival (LTS) and its contributing factors.

Methods: This was a retrospective single-center analysis of consecutive patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for PDAC between 2007 and 2014 at the St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Clinical and laboratory parameters were assessed and evaluated for prediction of LTS with Cox regression analysis.

Results: The overall rate of LTS after PD for PDAC was 20.4% (34/167). Median survival was 24 months regardless of adjuvant treatment. Carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels, tumor grade, lymph vessel invasion, perineural invasion and reduced general condition were significantly associated with LTS in univariate analysis (P < 0.05). Serum levels of carbohydrate antigen 19-9, American Joint Committee on Cancer stage, tumor grade, abdominal pain, male, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and duration of postoperative hospital stay were independent predictors of cancer survival in multivariable analysis.

Conclusions: Cancer related characteristics are associated with LTS in multimodally treated patients after curative PDAC surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hbpd.2020.12.006DOI Listing
June 2021

Long term follow-up of a simplified and less burdened pancreatic duct ligation model of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in Goettingen Minipigs.

BMC Gastroenterol 2020 Nov 30;20(1):403. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of General Surgery, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum, Gudrunstrasse 56, 44791, Bochum, Germany.

Background: Pancreatic duct ligation in a minipig model leads to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). This allows the study of digestive processes and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapies. However, detailed descriptions of the surgical procedure, perioperative management, a determination of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency are scarce in the literature. Data of the long-term health status of minipigs upon EPI induction are still not available. Therefore, the present study describes in detail an experimental approach to the induction of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency via pancreatic duct ligation in minipigs and the long term follow up of the animal's health state.

Methods: 14 Goettingen minipigs underwent pancreatic duct ligation via midline laparotomy for the induction of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Fecal fat content, fat absorption, chymotrypsin levels, body weight and blood vitamin and glucose levels were determined.

Results: Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency was successfully induced in 12 Goettingen minipigs. Two minipigs failed to develop exocrine insufficiency most likely due to undetected accessory pancreatic ducts. All animals tolerated the procedure very well and gained weight within 8 weeks after surgery without requiring pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. The follow up for approx. 180 weeks showed a stable body weight and health state of the animals with normal blood glucose levels (Table 1). From approx. 130 weeks post pancreatic duct ligation, all animals were supplemented with pancreatic enzymes and vitamins resulting in blood concentrations almost within the reference range.

Conclusions: Pancreatic duct ligation in minipigs is an excellent method of inducing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. It is important to identify and ligate accessory pancreatic ducts since persistence of accessory ducts will lead to maintenance of exocrine pancreatic function. The EPI model caused no persistent side effects in the animals and has the potential to be used in long-term EPI studies with up to 100 weeks post-OP without supplementation with enzymes and vitamins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12876-020-01541-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7706062PMC
November 2020

Alteration of contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with cirrhosis and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS).

Sci Rep 2020 11 26;10(1):20682. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg-Campus 1, 53127, Bonn, Germany.

Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) can treat portal hypertensive complications and modifies hepatic hemodynamics. Modification of liver perfusion can alter contrast enhancement dynamics of liver nodules. This study investigated the diagnostic performance of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) to diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhosis with TIPS. In this prospective monocentric observational study, CEUS was used to characterize focal liver lesions in patients at risk for HCC with and without TIPS. Times of arterial phase hyperenhancement (APHE) und washout were quantified. Perfusion-index (PI) and resistance-index (RI) of hepatic artery and portal venous flow parameters were measured via doppler ultrasonography. Diagnostic gold standard was MRI/CT or histology. This study included 49 liver lesions [23 TIPS (11 HCC), 26 no TIPS (15 HCC)]. 26 were diagnosed as HCC by gold standard. Sensitivity and specificity of CEUS to diagnose HCC with and without TIPS were 93.3% and 100% vs. 90.9% and 93.3%, respectively. APHE appeared significantly earlier in patients with TIPS compared to patients without TIPS. TIPS significantly accentuates APHE of HCC in CEUS. CEUS has good diagnostic performance for diagnosis of HCC in patients with TIPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77801-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692482PMC
November 2020

PREDICT identifies precipitating events associated with the clinical course of acutely decompensated cirrhosis.

J Hepatol 2021 05 20;74(5):1097-1108. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Background & Aims: Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis may present without acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) (AD-No ACLF), or with ACLF (AD-ACLF), defined by organ failure(s). Herein, we aimed to analyze and characterize the precipitants leading to both of these AD phenotypes.

Methods: The multicenter, prospective, observational PREDICT study (NCT03056612) included 1,273 non-electively hospitalized patients with AD (No ACLF = 1,071; ACLF = 202). Medical history, clinical data and laboratory data were collected at enrolment and during 90-day follow-up, with particular attention given to the following characteristics of precipitants: induction of organ dysfunction or failure, systemic inflammation, chronology, intensity, and relationship to outcome.

Results: Among various clinical events, 4 distinct events were precipitants consistently related to AD: proven bacterial infections, severe alcoholic hepatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding with shock and toxic encephalopathy. Among patients with precipitants in the AD-No ACLF cohort and the AD-ACLF cohort (38% and 71%, respectively), almost all (96% and 97%, respectively) showed proven bacterial infection and severe alcoholic hepatitis, either alone or in combination with other events. Survival was similar in patients with proven bacterial infections or severe alcoholic hepatitis in both AD phenotypes. The number of precipitants was associated with significantly increased 90-day mortality and was paralleled by increasing levels of surrogates for systemic inflammation. Importantly, adequate first-line antibiotic treatment of proven bacterial infections was associated with a lower ACLF development rate and lower 90-day mortality.

Conclusions: This study identified precipitants that are significantly associated with a distinct clinical course and prognosis in patients with AD. Specific preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting these events may improve outcomes in patients with decompensated cirrhosis.

Lay Summary: Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis is characterized by a rapid deterioration in patient health. Herein, we aimed to analyze the precipitating events that cause AD in patients with cirrhosis. Proven bacterial infections and severe alcoholic hepatitis, either alone or in combination, accounted for almost all (96-97%) cases of AD and acute-on-chronic liver failure. Whilst the type of precipitant was not associated with mortality, the number of precipitant(s) was. This study identified precipitants that are significantly associated with a distinct clinical course and prognosis of patients with AD. Specific preventive and therapeutic strategies targeting these events may improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.019DOI Listing
May 2021

Risk Factors for Postoperative Morbidity and Mortality after Small Bowel Surgery in Patients with Cirrhotic Liver Disease-A Retrospective Analysis of 76 Cases in a Tertiary Center.

Biology (Basel) 2020 Oct 22;9(11). Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

(1) Purpose: As it is known, patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) undergoing colon surgery or hernia surgery have high perioperative morbidity and mortality. However, data about patients with LC undergoing small bowel surgery is lacking. This study aimed to analyze the morbidity and mortality of patients with LC after small bowel surgery in order to determine predictive risk factors for a poor outcome. (2) Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of all patients undergoing small bowel surgery between January 2002 and July 2018 and identified 76 patients with LC. Postoperative complications were analyzed using the classification of Dindo/Clavien (D/C) and further subdivided (hemorrhage, pulmonary complication, wound healing disturbances, renal failure). A total of 38 possible predictive factors underwent univariate and multivariate analyses for different postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality. (3) Results: Postoperative complications [D/C grade ≥ II] occurred in 90.8% of patients and severe complications (D/C grade ≥ IIIB) in 53.9% of patients. Nine patients (11.8%) died during the postoperative course. Predictive factors for overall complications were "additional surgery" (OR 5.3) and "bowel anastomosis" (OR 5.6). For postoperative mortality, we identified the model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) score (OR 1.3) and portal hypertension (OR 5.8) as predictors. The most common complication was hemorrhage, followed by pulmonary complications, hydropic decompensation, renal failure, and wound healing disturbances. The most common risk factors for those complications were portal hypertension (PH), poor liver function, emergency or additional surgery, ascites, and high ASA score. (4) Conclusions: LC has a devastating influence on patients' outcomes after small bowel resection. PH, poor liver function, high ASA score, and additional or emergency surgery as well as ascites were significant risk factors for worse outcomes. Therefore, PH should be treated before surgery whenever possible. Expansion of the operation should be avoided whenever possible and in case of at least moderate preoperative ascites, the creation of an anastomotic ostomy should be evaluated to prevent leakages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology9110349DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690599PMC
October 2020

Variceal bleeding has increased mortality compared to nonvariceal bleeding only in males.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Oct 16. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Medicine I, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Background: Gastrointestinal bleedings (GIBs) are frequent in cirrhotic patients and lead to high morbidity and mortality. Lately, there have been conflicting reports on the role of and bleeding type [variceal bleeding and nonvariceal bleeding (NVB)]. This study investigated the predictors of mortality in patients with variceal bleeding and NVB with relationship to sex differences.

Materials And Methods: A total of 271 patients with suspected upper GIB who underwent endoscopy were included. Patients were followed up at 1 week, 6 months and 1 year after admission. Univariate and multivariate logistic or Cox regression analyses investigated correlations of predictive factors and clinical outcomes. Propensity score matching was performed to control for severity of disease and compare groups for sex and bleeding type.

Results: A total of 42 patients were excluded (cirrhosis or bleeding not confirmed). The remaining patients were classified by bleeding type into patients with variceal bleeding (n = 115) or NVB (n = 156). Males (n = 155) had higher mortality in variceal bleeding than in NVB, while in females (n = 116) mortality was similar in the two bleeding types. This was confirmed after matching in males (n = 116) and females (n = 82). Further independent predictors of mortality in males were model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) at baseline, blood urea nitrogen, alanine aminotransferase, while in females age, leukocytes, MELD, history of ascites and hepatic encephalopathy.

Conclusion: This study shows that variceal bleeding has higher mortality in males compared to NVB, while in females the type of GIB does not impact the outcome. This highlights that sex-specific clinical management should be based on bleeding type after endoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000001964DOI Listing
October 2020

Covert hepatic encephalopathy and spontaneous portosystemic shunts increase the risk of developing overt hepatic encephalopathy.

Liver Int 2020 12;40(12):3093-3102

First Department of Internal Medicine, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.

Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the presence of covert hepatic encephalopathy (cHE) and its characteristics according to the presence of spontaneous portosystemic shunts (SPSS) and their influence on the development of overt hepatic encephalopathy.

Methods: Secondary analysis of a multicentre study, which evaluated the association between SPSS and complications of cirrhosis. The present study population includes those patients who also underwent cHE diagnostic evaluation. Presence of SPSS was evaluated by cross-sectional imaging and quantified by total SPSS-area. Logistic and Cox-regression competing risk analyses were performed.

Results: About 65 patients were included of age 58 (IQR 50-66), MELD 15 (IQR 10-20), with alcoholic liver disease 63%. Thirty-two patients (49%) had cHE, had higher MELD [16 (IQR 12-24) vs 13 (IQR 9-17), P = .027], a greater proportion of SPSS [n = 18 (56%) vs n = 8 (24%); P = .008] and a higher total cross-sectional SPSS-area [28.3 (0-94.2) vs 0 (0-14.1); P = .005]. On multivariate analysis MELD [OR 1.11 (95% CI 1.01-1.21)] and presence of SPSS [OR 3.95 (95% CI 1.22-12.80)] were independently associated to cHE at baseline. During follow-up cHE was an independent predictor of oHE [cHE: HR 6.93 (95% CI 2.64-18.20). The effect of cHE on the development of oHE was greater in patients with SPSS [only cHE: HR 5.66 (95% CI 1.82-17.62), cHE and SPSS: HR 8.63 (95% CI 3.15-23.65)].

Conclusions: cHE is independently associated to the presence of SPSS (and total cross-sectional SPSS-area) and MELD. Furthermore, the presence of SPSS seems to increase the risk of cHE of developing of overt hepatic encephalopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.14660DOI Listing
December 2020

Myocardial Fibrosis and Inflammation in Liver Cirrhosis: MRI Study of the Liver-Heart Axis.

Radiology 2020 Oct 18;297(1):51-61. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

From the Departments of Radiology (A.I., A.F., A.M.S., C.C.P., C.M., D.D., D.T., U.A., D.K., J.A.L.) and Internal Medicine I (M.P., C.J., J.C.), University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg-Campus 1, 53127 Bonn, Germany; Quantitative Imaging Laboratory Bonn (QILaB), Bonn, Germany (A.I., A.F., A.M.S., D.D., D.T., D.K., J.A.L.); Institute for Medical Biometry, Informatics and Epidemiology (IMBIE), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany (R.F.); Department of Internal Medicine 1, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (J.T.).

Background Cardiac involvement in liver cirrhosis in the absence of underlying cardiac disease is termed . The pathophysiology of this condition is still poorly understood. Purpose To investigate the extent of subclinical imaging changes in terms of fibrosis and inflammation and to explore the relationship between the severity of liver disease and the degree of myocardial involvement. Materials and Methods In this prospective study from November 2018 to December 2019, participants with liver cirrhosis and healthy control participants underwent hepatic and cardiac MRI. The multiparametric scan protocol assessed hepatic (T1 and T2 relaxation times, extracellular volume [ECV], and MR elastography-based liver stiffness) and cardiac (T1 and T2 relaxation times, ECV, myocardial edema, late gadolinium enhancement [LGE], and myocardial strain) parameters. Student tests, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson correlation, and multivariable binary regression analysis were used for statistical analyses. Results A total of 42 participants with liver cirrhosis (mean age ± standard deviation, 57 years ± 11; 23 men) and 18 control participants (mean age, 54 years ± 19; 11 men) were evaluated. Compared with control participants, the participants with liver cirrhosis displayed reduced longitudinal strain and elevated markers of myocardial disease (T1 and T2 relaxation times, ECV, and qualitative and quantitative LGE). Myocardial T1 (978 msec ± 23 vs 1006 msec ± 29 vs 1044 msec ± 14; < .001) and T2 relaxation times (56 msec ± 4 vs 59 msec ± 3 vs 62 msec ± 8; = .04) and ECV (30% ± 5 vs 33% ± 5 vs 38% ± 7; = .009) were higher depending on Child-Pugh class (A vs B vs C). Positive LGE lesions (three of 11 [27%] vs 10 of 19 [53%] vs nine of 11 [82%]; = .04) were more prevalent in advanced Child-Pugh classes. MR elastography-based liver stiffness was an independent predictor for LGE (odds ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval: 1.2%, 2.1%; = .004) and correlated with quantitative LGE ( = 0.67; < .001), myocardial T1 relaxation times ( = 0.55; < .001), and ECV ( = 0.39; = .01). Conclusion In participants with liver cirrhosis, systolic dysfunction and elevated parameters of myocardial edema and fibrosis were observed at MRI, which were more abnormal with greater severity of liver disease. © RSNA, 2020 See also the editorial by de Roos and Lamb in this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020201057DOI Listing
October 2020

Magnetic resonance parametric mapping of the spleen for non-invasive assessment of portal hypertension.

Eur Radiol 2021 Jan 4;31(1):85-93. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Quantitative Imaging Lab Bonn (QILaB), University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg-Campus 1, 53127, Bonn, Germany.

Objectives: In patients with advanced liver disease, portal hypertension is an important risk factor, leading to complications such as esophageal variceal bleeding, ascites, and hepatic encephalopathy. This study aimed to determine the diagnostic value of T1 and T2 mapping and extracellular volume fraction (ECV) for the non-invasive assessment of portal hypertension.

Methods: In this prospective study, 50 participants (33 patients with indication for trans-jugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) and 17 healthy volunteers) underwent MRI. The derivation and validation cohorts included 40 and 10 participants, respectively. T1 and T2 relaxation times and ECV of the liver and the spleen were assessed using quantitative mapping techniques. Direct hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) and portal pressure measurements were performed during TIPS procedure. ROC analysis was performed to compare diagnostic performance.

Results: Splenic ECV correlated with portal pressure (r = 0.72; p < 0.001) and direct HVPG (r = 0.50; p = 0.003). No significant correlations were found between native splenic T1 and T2 relaxation times with portal pressure measurements (p > 0.05, respectively). In the derivation cohort, splenic ECV revealed a perfect diagnostic performance with an AUC of 1.000 for the identification of clinically significant portal hypertension (direct HVPG ≥ 10 mmHg) and outperformed other parameters: hepatic T2 (AUC, 0.731), splenic T2 (AUC, 0.736), and splenic native T1 (AUC, 0.806) (p < 0.05, respectively). The diagnostic performance of mapping parameters was comparable in the validation cohort.

Conclusion: Splenic ECV was associated with portal pressure measurements in patients with advanced liver disease. Future studies should explore the diagnostic value of parametric mapping accross a broader range of pressure values.

Key Points: • Non-invasive assessment and monitoring of portal hypertension is an area of unmet interest. • Splenic extracellular volume fraction is strongly associated with portal pressure in patients with end-stage liver disease. • Quantitative splenic and hepatic MRI-derived parameters have a potential to become a new non-invasive diagnostic parameter to assess and monitor portal pressure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-020-07080-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755629PMC
January 2021

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Algorithms (CEUS-LIRADS/ESCULAP) for the Noninvasive Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma - A Prospective Multicenter DEGUM Study.

Ultraschall Med 2021 Apr 14;42(2):178-186. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Magdeburg, Germany.

Background:  This prospective multicenter study funded by the DEGUM assesses the diagnostic accuracy of standardized contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for the noninvasive diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in high-risk patients.

Methods:  Patients at high risk for HCC with a histologically proven focal liver lesion on B-mode ultrasound were recruited prospectively in a multicenter approach. Clinical and imaging data were entered via online entry forms. The diagnostic accuracies for the noninvasive diagnosis of HCC were compared for the conventional interpretation of standardized CEUS at the time of the examination (= CEUS on-site) and the two CEUS algorithms ESCULAP (Erlanger Synopsis for Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound for Liver lesion Assessment in Patients at risk) and CEUS LI-RADS (Contrast-Enhanced UltraSound Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System).

Results:  321 patients were recruited in 43 centers; 299 (93.1 %) had liver cirrhosis. The diagnosis according to histology was HCC in 256 cases, and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) in 23 cases. In the subgroup of cirrhotic patients (n = 299), the highest sensitivity for the diagnosis of HCC was achieved with the CEUS algorithm ESCULAP (94.2 %) and CEUS on-site (90.9 %). The lowest sensitivity was reached with the CEUS LI-RADS algorithm (64 %; p < 0.001). However, the specificity of CEUS LI-RADS (78.9 %) was superior to that of ESCULAP (50.9 %) and CEUS on-site (64.9 %; p < 0.001). At the same time, the negative predictive value (NPV) of CEUS LI-RADS was significantly inferior to that of ESCULAP (34.1 % vs. 67.4 %; p < 0.001) and CEUS on-site (62.7 %; p < 0.001). The positive predictive values of all modalities were high (around 90 %), with the best results seen for CEUS LI-RADS and CEUS on-site.

Conclusion:  This is the first multicenter, prospective comparison of standardized CEUS and the recently developed CEUS-based algorithms in histologically proven liver lesions in cirrhotic patients. Our results reaffirm the excellent diagnostic accuracy of CEUS for the noninvasive diagnosis of HCC in high-risk patients. However, on-site diagnosis by an experienced examiner achieves an almost equal diagnostic accuracy compared to CEUS-based diagnostic algorithms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1198-4874DOI Listing
April 2021

A prospective, multicentre study in acute non-cirrhotic, non-malignant portal vein thrombosis: comparison of medical and interventional treatment.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2020 07 7;52(2):329-339. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Freiburg, Germany.

Background: To evaluate medical versus interventional treatment (transjugular thrombus fragmentation, local thrombolysis with or without stent implantation) in patients with acute non-cirrhotic, non-malignant portal vein thrombosis (PVT).

Methods: This prospective, observational study enrolled 65 patients with acute (<28 days since begin of symptoms, no cavernoma) PVT in nine centres. Thirty patients received medical treatment and 35 patients received interventional treatment. PVT was graded into grade 1: short thrombosis and incomplete occlusion of the vessel lumen and grade 2: extended thrombosis or complete occlusion. Treatment response was classified as partial or complete, if thrombosis was reduced by one grade or to <25% of the vessel diameter respectively.

Results: Partial and complete response rates were 7% and 30% in the medical compared to 17% and 54% (P < 0.001) in the interventional treatment group. In the multivariate analysis, interventional treatment showed a strong positive (OR 4.32, P < 0.016) and a myeloproliferative aetiology a negative (OR 0.09, P = 0.006) prediction of complete response. Complications were rare in the medical group and consisted of septicaemia and upper gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin in one patient each. Interventional treatment was accompanied by mild and self-limiting bleeding complications in nine patients, moderate intra-abdominal bleeding requiring transfusions (2 units) in one patient and peritoneal bleeding requiring surgical rescue in one patient. Four patients in each group developed intestinal gangrene requiring surgery. One patient died 52 days after unsuccessful interventional treatment.

Conclusions: Compared to medical treatment alone, interventional treatment doubled response rates at the cost of increased bleeding complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.15811DOI Listing
July 2020
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