Publications by authors named "Pietro Lampertico"

182 Publications

The relationship between liver histology and thyroid function tests in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

PLoS One 2021 6;16(4):e0249614. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Background: Data on the role of hypothyroidism in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver fibrosis are conflicting, although selective Thyroid Hormone Receptor (THR)-β agonists have been identified as potential therapy in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Therefore, we investigated the association between hypothyroidism and NAFLD histological features potentially associated with progressive liver disease.

Methods: Between 2014 and 2016, consecutive patients with histologically proven NAFLD and frozen serum available for thyroid function tests assessment were included. NAFLD was staged according to the NAFLD Activity Score (NAS), and fibrosis according to Kleiner. NASH was defined as NAS ≥4, significant fibrosis as F2-F4 and significant steatosis as S2-S3. Thyroid function tests (TFT; TSH, FT3, FT4, rT3), TPO-Ab and Tg-Ab were also assessed.

Results: Fifty-two patients were analyzed: median age 54 years, 58% females, LSM 7.8 kPa, 27% diabetics, 14% hypothyroid. At histology, NASH was present in 21 (40%), F2-F4 in 28 (54%) and S2-S3 in 30 (58%) patients. Rates of hypothyroidism were similar independently of the presence of NASH (p = 0.11), significant fibrosis (p = 0.21) or steatosis (p = 0.75). However, hypothyroid patients displayed a higher NAS (p = 0.02) and NASH (p = 0.06) prevalence. At multivariate analysis, TFT were not independently associated with histology.

Conclusion: Hypothyroidism was highly prevalent in NAFLD patients, and was associated with increased NAFLD activity, but not with fibrosis and steatosis severity. Thus, thyroid dysfunction might play a direct and/or indirect in the pathogenesis of NAFLD and NASH.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249614PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023543PMC
April 2021

Cost analysis of a long-term randomized controlled study in biliary duct-to-duct anastomotic stricture after liver transplantation.

Transpl Int 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Multiple plastic stent (MPS) for biliary anastomotic stricture (AS) after liver transplantation requires multiple procedures with consequent costs. To compare the success, adverse events and treatment-related costs of fully covered self-expandable metal stents (FCSEMS) versus MPS. Thirty liver transplant (LT) patients with clinically relevant naïve AS were prospectively randomized to FCSEMS or MPS, with stent numbers increased at 3-month intervals. Treatment costs per patient were calculated for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (including all devices and stents) and overall hospital stay. Radiological success was achieved in 73% of FCSEMS (median indwelling period of 6 mos) and 93% of MPS patients (P = NS) (median period of 11 mos). AS recurrence occurred in 36% of FCSEMS and 7% of MPS patients (P = NS), and AS re-treatment was needed in 53% and 13% (P < 0.01), respectively, during follow-up of 60 (34-80) months. Stents migrated after 29% and 2.6% of FCSEMS and MPS procedures, respectively (P < 0.01). Including re-treatments, long-term clinical success was achieved in 28/30 (93%) patients. Overall treatment-related costs were similar between groups. In the subgroup of LT patients in clinical remission after first-line treatment, treatment costs were 41% lower per FCSEMS patient compared with MPS patients. FCSEMS did not perform better than MPS. FCSEMS migration increased the rate of re-treatment and costs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tri.13867DOI Listing
March 2021

Is there any need for new, long-acting nucleos(t)ide analogues for the treatment of hepatitis B infection?

J Hepatol 2021 May 12;74(5):1011-1014. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.038DOI Listing
May 2021

Decompensation in Direct-Acting Antiviral Cured Hepatitis C Virus Compensated Patients With Clinically Significant Portal Hypertension: Too Rare to Warrant Universal Β-Blocker Therapy.

Am J Gastroenterol 2021 Feb 18. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Milan, Italy; Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, U.O.C. Medicina Generale Emostasi e Trombosi, Università degli Studi di Milano; CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Nonselective β-blockers improve decompensation-free survival in viremic hepatitis C virus compensated cirrhotic patients with clinically significant portal hypertension, but their protective role after sustained virological response by direct-acting antiviral (DAA) is undefined. We evaluated the incidence of decompensation in DAA-cured Child-A patients without high-risk varices. During the 49-month (12-60) follow-up, only one of 148 patients decompensated (ascites), with a 4-year cumulative risk of 1%, but decompensation was associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. The risk of decompensation in DAA cured hepatitis C virus compensated Child-A cirrhotic patients with clinically significant portal hypertension but without high-risk varices is negligible; thus, questioning the need for nonselective β-blocker treatment in this setting (see Visual abstract, Supplemental Digital Content, 1, http://links.lww.com/AJG/B861).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000001158DOI Listing
February 2021

Dual proteotoxic stress accelerates liver injury via activation of p62-Nrf2.

J Pathol 2021 Feb 14. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

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

Protein accumulation is the hallmark of various neuronal, muscular, and other human disorders. It is also often seen in the liver as a major protein-secretory organ. For example, aggregation of mutated alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT), referred to as PiZ, is a characteristic feature of AAT deficiency, whereas retention of hepatitis B surface protein (HBs) is found in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection. We investigated the interaction of both proteotoxic stresses in humans and mice. Animals overexpressing both PiZ and HBs (HBs-PiZ mice) had greater liver injury, steatosis, and fibrosis. Later they exhibited higher hepatocellular carcinoma load and a more aggressive tumor subtype. Although PiZ and HBs displayed differing solubility properties and distinct distribution patterns, HBs-PiZ animals manifested retention of AAT/HBs in the degradatory pathway and a marked accumulation of the autophagy adaptor p62. Isolation of p62-containing particles revealed retained HBs/AAT and the lipophagy adapter perilipin-2. p62 build-up led to activation of the p62-Nrf2 axis and emergence of reactive oxygen species. Our results demonstrate that the simultaneous presence of two prevalent proteotoxic stresses promotes the development of liver injury due to protein retention and activation of the p62-Nrf2 axis. In humans, the PiZ variant was over-represented in CHB patients with advanced liver fibrosis (unadjusted odds ratio = 9.92 [1.15-85.39]). Current siRNA approaches targeting HBs/AAT should be considered for these individuals. © 2021 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. on behalf of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.5643DOI Listing
February 2021

Editorial: similar risk of hepatocellar carcinoma in chronic hepatitis B patients treated with tenofovir or entecavir-new clues from Europe.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2021 03;53(5):657-658

Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, General Hospital of Athens "Laiko", Athens, Greece.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.16238DOI Listing
March 2021

Incremental value of HBcrAg to classify 1582 HBeAg-negative individuals in chronic infection without liver disease or hepatitis.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2021 03 19;53(6):733-744. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Barcelona, Spain.

Background: An accurate, single-point differential diagnosis between HBeAg-negative infection (ENI) and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is an unmet need.

Aims: To assess the diagnostic value of the new hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) assay.

Methods: A retrospective anonymised data analysis was performed in a multicentre European (nine centres and six countries) cohort of 1582 consecutive HBsAg-positive/HBeAg-negative subjects classified according to EASL guidelines as: 550-CHB, 710-ENI and 322-GZ (grey-zone, HBV-DNA <20 000 IU/mL).

Results: Mean age was 44 (±13.2 y), 59% were men; HBV genotypes were 15% A, 2% B, 2% C, 45% D, 9% E, 1% F and 26% unknown. Median HBV-DNA serum levels were 2.2 (1.5-2.7), 3.5 (3.2-3.8) and 5.6 (4.8-6.6) logIU/mL in ENI, GZ and CHB, P < 0.0001. HBsAg serum levels (HBsAgsl) were comparable in CHB and GZ, but lower in ENI (2.9 [2.1-3.6] logIU/mL), P < 0.0001. HBcrAg serum levels (HBcrAgsl) were <3 logU/mL in 90.7% (644/710) ENI, 75.2% (242/322) GZ and 4.7% (26/550) CHB (P < 0.0001). Median HBcrAgsl were 4.8 (3.9-5.7), 2.5 (2.0-2.9) and 2.0 (2.0-2.5) logU/mL in CHB, GZ and ENI, (P < 0.0001). ROC-AUCs for HBcrAg and HBsAg were 0.968 (95% CI, 0.958-0.977) and 0.732 (95% CI, 0.704-0.760) respectively. The optimal HBcrAgsl cut-off to distinguish CHB from ENI was 3.14 logU/mL (95% CI, 3.02-3.25, 91% SE, 93% SP and 92.4% DA). HBcrAgsl were associated with HBV genotypes (P < 0.001, one-way ANOVA) but using genotype-specific cut-offs, HBcrAg DA remained unchanged with overlapping 95% CI.

Conclusion: The HBcrAg assay showed high diagnostic performance in the accurate single-point identification of patients with HBeAg-negative CHB, independently of HBV genotype. This should prompt future prospective studies to confirm its diagnostic role in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.16258DOI Listing
March 2021

High rates of sustained virological response despite premature discontinuation of directly acting antivirals in HCV-infected patients treated in a real-life setting.

J Viral Hepat 2021 Mar 2;28(3):558-568. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

U.O. Malattie Infettive e Tropicali, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

In routine clinical practice, hepatitis C virus-infected patients can prematurely discontinue the prescribed regimen for several reasons. The aim of our study was to investigate sustained virological response (SVR12) rates in patients who prematurely discontinued directly acting antiviral (DAA) regimens and to assess the shortest effective duration of DAA able to lead to SVR12. We retrospectively collected the SVR rates of patients, registered in the NAVIGATORE-Lombardia Network database from January 2015, who discontinued DAAs before the predefined end of treatment. Overall, we included 365 patients, males were the majority (213, 58.4%), mean age was 60.5 years, and 53 (14.5%) patients were HIV-co-infected. Liver cirrhosis was observed in 251 (68.8%) subjects, and the most represented genotypes were 1b (n = 168, 46%) and 3 (n = 59, 16.2%). DAA was discontinued a median of 1 (IQR 1-4) weeks before the predefined EOT, with 164 (44.9%) patients stopping DAAs at least 2 weeks before the planned schedule. In patients with F0-F3 liver fibrosis, lower rates of SVR12 were observed in patients treated for <4 weeks: 50% (n = 2/4) vs. 99.1% (n = 109/110) for ≥4 weeks, p = 0.003. In patients with liver cirrhosis, lower rates of SVR12 were observed in patients treated <8 weeks: 83.3% (n = 25/30) vs. 94.6% (n = 209/221) for ≥8 weeks, p = 0.038. Despite premature discontinuation of DAA, high SVR12 rates were observed in a real-life setting for treatment lasting at least 4 weeks in patients with liver fibrosis F0-F3 and 8 weeks in those with liver cirrhosis. On this basis, feasibility of reducing DAA treatment duration should be explored in randomized clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13454DOI Listing
March 2021

Perspectives on stopping nucleos(t)ide analogues therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Antiviral Res 2021 01 3;185:104992. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Université de Paris, CRI, UMR 1149, Inserm, Paris, F-75018, France; Department of Hepatology, AP-HP Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, 92110, France. Electronic address:

Long-term treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) is the current first line therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), recommended by most of the current guidelines. NAs prevent disease progression, liver failure, decrease the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and have favorable safety profiles. However, low rates of on-therapy functional cure (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] loss), which is regarded as the optimal end point, prevent many patients from stopping NA therapy with the need for a lifelong treatment. The higher likelihood of HBsAg loss associated with stopping as compared to continuing NAs has got a lot of attention recently. Recommendations regarding endpoints allowing for safely stopping NA therapy differ between international guidelines. Whereas in HBeAg-positive patients, HBeAg seroconversion with at least one year of consolidation therapy is an acceptable endpoint of treatment, the recommendations for HBeAg-negative ones differ. Some guidelines propose ≥3 years of HBV DNA undetectability to stop NA while others regard HBsAg loss as the only acceptable endpoint. Stopping NA can lead to substantial rates of virologic relapses and consequent ALT flares in some cases. Moreover, no reliable predictor(s) of post-NA relapses have been identified so far. Quantitative HBsAg is becoming an increasingly promising marker to predict safe NA cessation. On the other hand, investigating the role of the immune system in mediating sustained virologic responses after NA withdrawal is needed to suggest immunological biomarkers to safely stop NA. In this article, we will review relevant literature regarding NA stopping strategy and discuss promising viral and immunological biomarkers to predict antiviral responses and thus to help identify patients who are more likely to achieve HBsAg seroclearance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104992DOI Listing
January 2021

Circulating cell-free DNA species affect the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in treated chronic hepatitis B patients.

J Viral Hepat 2021 Mar 16;28(3):464-474. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Gastroenterology, General Hospital of Athens 'Laiko', Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may still develop in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients even under effective long-term oral antiviral therapy, but its pathogenesis in the setting of long-standing inhibition of viral replication has not been completely elucidated. We investigated whether species of circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) may be involved in the process of hepatocarcinogenesis in treated CHB patients. Serum samples were obtained from HBeAg-negative CHB patients with (HCC cases, n = 37) or without HCC development during the first 5 years of oral antiviral therapy (controls, n = 74). HCC cases and controls were matched 1:2 for age, sex and platelets. Determination of different circulating cfDNA species (before HCC diagnosis in HCC cases) including total cfDNA quantity, levels of Alu repeat DNA and RNase P coding DNA, copies of mitochondrial DNA and levels of 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine as an indicator of DNA methylation was performed. HCC cases compared with controls had higher median levels of Alu247 (123 vs 69 genomic equivalent, p = .042) and RNase P coding DNA (68 vs 15 genomic equivalent, p < .001). In contrast, median cfDNA concentration, Alu115 levels, Alu247/Alu115 ratio as an index of DNA integrity and mitochondrial DNA copies did not differ significantly between HCC cases and controls. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that levels RNase P coding DNA offered good prediction of subsequent HCC development (c-statistic: 0.80, p < .001). In conclusion, serum levels of RNase P coding DNA are increased years before HCC diagnosis and could be potentially helpful in the prediction of the HCC risk in treated HBeAg-negative CHB patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13446DOI Listing
March 2021

Failure on voxilaprevir, velpatasvir, sofosbuvir and efficacy of rescue therapy.

J Hepatol 2021 Apr 19;74(4):801-810. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, University Hospital, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany; German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), External Partner Site, Frankfurt, Germany; Medizinische Klinik 2, St. Josefs-Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: There are limited data on patients with chronic HCV infection in whom combination voxilaprevir (VOX), velpatasvir (VEL), sofosbuvir (SOF) retreatment fails. Thus, we aimed to assess treatment failure and rescue treatment options in these patients.

Methods: Samples from 40 patients with HCV genotypes (GT) 1-4 in whom VOX/VEL/SOF retreatment failed were collected within the European Resistance Study Group. Population-based resistance analyses were conducted and clinical parameters and retreatment efficacies were evaluated retrospectively in 22 patients.

Results: Most VOX/VEL/SOF failure patients were infected with HCV GT3a (n = 18, 45%) or GT1a (n = 11, 28%) and had cirrhosis (n = 28, 70%). Previous treatments included an NS3-inhibitor (30%), an NS5A-inhibitor (100%) and SOF (85%). Baseline RAS data from a subgroup of patients before VOX/VEL/SOF retreatment (78%) showed few NS3 RASs apart from Q80K in GT1a (40%), typical NS5A RAS patterns in most patients (74%) and no S282T in NS5B. Sequencing after VOX/VEL/SOF failure was available in 98% of patients and showed only minor changes for NS3 and NS5A RASs. In 22 patients, rescue treatment was initiated with glecaprevir, pibrentasvir alone (n = 2) or with SOF±ribavirin (n = 15), VOX/VEL/SOF±ribavirin (n = 4) or VEL/SOF and ribavirin (n = 1) for 12 to 24 weeks. Sustained virologic response was achieved in 17/21 (81%) patients with a final treatment outcome. Of these, 2 GT3a-infected patients had virologic failure after rescue treatment with VEL/SOF or glecaprevir/pibrentasvir+SOF+ribavirin, and 2 patients with cirrhosis died during treatment or before reaching SVR12.

Conclusions: VOX/VEL/SOF failure was mainly observed in HCV GT3- and GT1a-infected patients with cirrhosis and was not associated with specific RAS patterns within NS3, NS5A or NS5B target regions. Rescue treatment with multiple targeted therapies was effective in most patients.

Lay Summary: The advent of direct-acting antivirals has enabled the effective cure of chronic hepatitis C in most patients. However, treatment failure occurs in some patients, who are often retreated with a combination regimen called VOX/VEL/SOF, which is associated with very high rates of cure. However, VOX/VEL/SOF retreatment also fails in some patients. Herein, we analysed samples from patients in whom VOX/VEL/SOF retreatment failed and we assessed the efficacy of different rescue therapies, showing that rescue treatment is effective in most patients (81%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.017DOI Listing
April 2021

Hepatitis Delta Virus Acts as an Immunogenic Adjuvant in Hepatitis B Virus-Infected Hepatocytes.

Cell Rep Med 2020 Jul 21;1(4):100060. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Emerging Infectious Diseases Program, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, Singapore.

Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) requires hepatitis B virus (HBV) to complete its infection cycle and causes severe hepatitis, with limited therapeutic options. To determine the prospect of T cell therapy in HBV/HDV co-infection, we study the impact of HDV on viral antigen processing and presentation. Using models of HBV/HDV co-infection, we demonstrate that HDV boosts HBV epitope presentation, both in HBV/HDV co-infected and neighboring mono-HBV-infected cells through the upregulation of the antigen processing pathway mediated by IFN-β/λ. Liver biopsies of HBV/HDV patients confirm this upregulation. We then validate and in a HBV/HDV preclinical mouse model that HDV infection increases the anti-HBV efficacy of T cells with engineered T cell receptors. Thus, by unveiling the effect of HDV on HBV antigen presentation, we provide a framework to better understand HBV/HDV immune pathology, and advocate the utilization of engineered HBV-specific T cells as a potential treatment for HBV/HDV co-infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7659593PMC
July 2020

Functional reconstitution of HBV-specific CD8 T cells by in vitro polyphenol treatment in chronic hepatitis B.

J Hepatol 2021 Apr 11;74(4):783-793. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Parma, Italy; Laboratory of Viral Immunopathology, Unit of Infectious Diseases and Hepatology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy.

Background & Aims: In chronic HBV infection, mitochondrial functions and proteostasis are dysregulated in exhausted HBV-specific CD8 T cells. To better characterise the potential involvement of deregulated protein degradation mechanisms in T cell exhaustion, we analysed lysosome-mediated autophagy in HBV-specific CD8 T cells. Bioactive compounds able to simultaneously target both mitochondrial functions and proteostasis were tested to identify optimal combination strategies to reconstitute efficient antiviral CD8 T cell responses in patients with chronic HBV infection.

Methods: Lysosome-mediated degradation pathways were analysed by flow cytometry in virus-specific CD8 T cells from patients with chronic HBV infection. Mitochondrial function, intracellular proteostasis, and cytokine production were evaluated in HBV-peptide-stimulated T cell cultures, in the presence or absence of the polyphenols resveratrol (RSV) and oleuropein (OLE) and their metabolites, either alone or in combination with other bioactive compounds.

Results: HBV-specific CD8 T cells from patients with CHB showed impaired autophagic flux. RSV and OLE elicited a significant improvement in mitochondrial, proteostasis and antiviral functions in CD8 T cells. Cytokine production was also enhanced by synthetic metabolites, which correspond to those generated by RSV and OLE metabolism in vivo, suggesting that these polyphenols may also display an effect after transformation in vivo. Moreover, polyphenolic compounds improved the T cell revitalising effect of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and of programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 blockade.

Conclusions: Simultaneously targeting multiple altered intracellular pathways with the combination of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants and natural polyphenols may represent a promising immune reconstitution strategy for the treatment of chronic HBV infection.

Lay Summary: In chronic hepatitis B, antiviral T lymphocytes are deeply impaired, with many altered intracellular functions. In vitro exposure to polyphenols, such as resveratrol and oleuropein, can correct some of the deregulated intracellular pathways and improve antiviral T cell function. This effect can be further strengthened by the association of polyphenols with antioxidant compounds in a significant proportion of patients. Thus, the combination of antioxidants and natural polyphenols represents a promising strategy for chronic hepatitis B therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.10.034DOI Listing
April 2021

Quadruple mutation GCAC1809-1812TTCT acts as a biomarker in healthy European HBV carriers.

JCI Insight 2020 11 19;5(22). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Paul Ehrlich Institute, Division of Virology, Langen, Germany.

Many mutation analyses of the HBV genome have been performed in the search for new prognostic markers. However, the Kozak sequence preceding precore was covered only infrequently in these analyses. In this study, the HBV core promoter/precore region was sequenced in serum samples from European inactive HBV carriers. Quadruple mutation GCAC1809-1812TTCT was found with a high prevalence of 42% in the Kozak sequence preceding precore among all HBV genotypes. GCAC1809-1812TTCT was strongly associated with coexistence of basal core promoter (BCP) double mutation A1762T/G1764A and lower HBV DNA levels. In vitro GCAC1809-1812TTCT lead to drastically diminished synthesis of pregenomic RNA (pgRNA), precore mRNA, core, HBsAg, and HBeAg. Calculation of the pgRNA secondary structure suggests a destabilization of the pgRNA structure by A1762T/G1764A that was compensated by GCAC1809-1812TTCT. In 125 patients with HBV-related cirrhosis, GCAC1809-1812TTCT was not detected. While a strong association of GCAC1809-1812TTCT with inactive carrier status was observed, BCP double mutation was strongly correlated with cirrhosis, but this was only observed in absence of GCAC1809-1812TTCT. In conclusion, our data reveal that GCAC1809-1812TTCT is highly prevalent in inactive carriers and acts as a compensatory mutation for BCP double mutation. GCAC1809-1812TTCT seems to be a biomarker of good prognosis in HBV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.135833DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710305PMC
November 2020

Combination of CLIF-OF and CCI predicts survival in patients with cirrhosis and COVID-19.

Gut 2020 Oct 7. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322929DOI Listing
October 2020

Reply to: "Similar risk of hepatocellular carcinoma during long-term entecavir or tenofovir therapy in Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis B".

J Hepatol 2021 Jan 26;74(1):246-247. Epub 2020 Sep 26.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.09.005DOI Listing
January 2021

Effectiveness and safety of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir in chronic hepatitis C patients: Results of the Italian cohort of a post-marketing observational study.

Dig Liver Dis 2020 Sep 8. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Clinica, Centro Interdipartimentale di Epatologia Università di Firenze e C.R.I.A. MASVE AOU Careggi, Firenze, Italy. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: The MARS post-marketing, observational study evaluates glecaprevir/pibrentasvir in a large population of Italian patients who are infected with HCV.

Patients And Methods: Achievement of SVR12 was the primary endpoint in the overall population and by subpopulations of interest (treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients, subjects infected with different HCV genotype/sub-genotype, cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients, patients with different severity of fibrosis, patients with an APRI score ≥1, subjects with comorbidities, HIV-coinfected patients, elderly patients and people who use drugs). Safety and quality of life (assessed by SF-36 and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment) were also evaluated.

Results: The SVR12 rate was 99.4% (319/321; 95% CI: 97.8-99.8%) in the core population with sufficient follow-up (n = 321), 99.7% (289/290) in 8-week treated patients, and high (>96%) across subgroups. Only three patients (0.9%) had treatment-related adverse events that led to treatment discontinuation. In total, 30.1% of patients showed an improvement of ≥2.5 points in the Physical Component Summary of the SF-36 from baseline to the end of treatment, and this figure raised to 37.5% with the achievement of SVR12. Corresponding values for MCS were 42.2% and 42.8%, respectively.

Conclusion: Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir is safe and effective across subpopulations who are underserved in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2020.08.007DOI Listing
September 2020

Reply to: "Challenges associated with the roll-out of HCC surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa - the case of Uganda".

J Hepatol 2020 11 13;73(5):1273-1274. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Sorbonne Universités, Université Paris Descartes, Université Paris Diderot, Université Paris, Paris, France; Functional Genomics of Solid Tumors, USPC, Université Paris Descartes, Université Paris Diderot, Université Paris, Paris, France; Service d'hépatologie, Hôpital Jean Verdier, Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris-Seine-Saint-Denis, Assistance-Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Bondy, France; Unité de Formation et de Recherche Santé Médecine et Biologie Humaine, Université Paris 13, Communauté d'Universités et Etablissements Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.07.003DOI Listing
November 2020

Reply to: Correspondence on "High rates of 30-day mortality in patients with cirrhosis and COVID-19".

J Hepatol 2020 12 7;73(6):1570-1571. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.08.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7410797PMC
December 2020

Hepatic Fat-Genetic Risk Score Predicts Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients With Cirrhotic HCV Treated With DAAs.

Hepatology 2020 12 20;72(6):1912-1923. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy.

Background And Aims: Genetic factors and steatosis predispose to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus; however, their impact in patients with cirrhosis cured by direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) is still undefined. We assessed the association between a genetic risk score (GRS) of hepatic fat accumulation, combining variants in PNPLA3 (patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3), MBOAT7 (membrane bound O-acyltransferase domain containing 7), TM6SF2 (transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2), GCKR (glucokinase regulator), and HCC in patients treated with DAAs.

Approach And Results: We considered 509 consecutive patients with HCV cirrhosis (defined histologically or when liver stiffness ≥12 kPa) treated with DAAs. HCC was diagnosed according to international recommendations. GRS was calculated from the weighted impact of single variants on hepatic fat content quantified by H spectrometry in the general population (Dallas Heart Study). During a median follow-up of 43 (3-57) months after DAA start, 36 of 452 (8%) patients developed de novo HCC, 4-year cumulative probability being 9% (95% confidence interval 7%-12%). Male sex (hazard ratio [HR] 2.54, P = 0.02), diabetes (HR 2.39, P = 0.01), albumin (HR 0.35, P = 0.001), and GRS score >0.597 (HR 2.30, P = 0.04) were independent predictors of de novo HCC. In contrast, single genetic risk variants were not useful in stratifying HCC risk. The proportion of patients who developed HCC according to the combination of the independent risk factors ranged from 11% to 67%. HCC recurred in 28 of 57 (49%) patients with previous history; diabetes and ethnicity were the only independent predictors of HCC recurrence.

Conclusions: In a large cohort of DAA-treated patients with cirrhotic HCV, GRS was associated with de novo HCC independently of classical risk factors, including liver disease severity. These data suggest that hepatic fat (i.e., lipotoxicity) promotes HCC in this setting and may represent a target for chemoprevention. Combination of clinical and genetic predictors may improve HCC risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.31500DOI Listing
December 2020

Real-World Clinical Practice Use of 8-Week Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir in Treatment-Naïve Patients with Compensated Cirrhosis.

Adv Ther 2020 09 4;37(9):4033-4042. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

Introduction: More than 70 million people are estimated to be infected with hepatitis C virus globally. Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir is a widely used treatment and has recently been approved for an 8-week regimen for treatment-naïve patients with compensated cirrhosis in Europe and the USA, who would previously have received glecaprevir/pibrentasvir for 12 weeks. This label update was based on the EXPEDITION-8 study, which included 343 treatment-naïve patients with compensated cirrhosis. However, there is currently a lack of similarly large-scale real-world studies of the 8-week glecaprevir/pibrentasvir regimen in this population.

Methods: This summary of seven separate smaller real-world studies aims to validate the results seen in EXPEDITION-8 and provide an up-to-date real-world reference for clinicians making treatment decisions for patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) who may benefit from a shorter-duration therapy with glecaprevir/pibrentasvir. The newly emerging real-world effectiveness data on treatment-naïve patients with compensated cirrhosis treated with 8 weeks of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir help to understand where further research is needed to support patients with hepatitis C virus.

Results: Across all seven studies, glecaprevir/pibrentasvir showed high effectiveness with an average sustained virologic response rate of 98.1%, similar to that found in a clinical trial setting (99.7%). Only one patient (0.5%) experienced virologic failure and treatment was well tolerated.

Conclusion: Expanding the number of patients eligible for the shortened treatment duration will potentially increase treatment initiation and completion, particularly in underserved populations, contributing to the elimination of hepatitis C virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01449-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444399PMC
September 2020

Fogging IBD Management: An Unusual Case of IBD Flare-up During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Inflamm Bowel Dis 2020 09;26(10):e128-e129

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izaa184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7546026PMC
September 2020

aMAP risk score predicts hepatocellular carcinoma development in patients with chronic hepatitis.

J Hepatol 2020 12 21;73(6):1368-1378. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

State Key Laboratory of Organ Failure Research, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Viral Hepatitis Research, Department of Infectious Diseases, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the leading cause of death in patients with chronic hepatitis. In this international collaboration, we sought to develop a global universal HCC risk score to predict the HCC development for patients with chronic hepatitis.

Methods: A total of 17,374 patients, comprising 10,578 treated Asian patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 2,510 treated Caucasian patients with CHB, 3,566 treated patients with hepatitis C virus (including 2,489 patients with cirrhosis achieving a sustained virological response) and 720 patients with non-viral hepatitis (NVH) from 11 international prospective observational cohorts or randomised controlled trials, were divided into a training cohort (3,688 Asian patients with CHB) and 9 validation cohorts with different aetiologies and ethnicities (n = 13,686).

Results: We developed an HCC risk score, called the aMAP score (ranging from 0 to 100), that involves only age, male, albumin-bilirubin and platelets. This metric performed excellently in assessing HCC risk not only in patients with hepatitis of different aetiologies, but also in those with different ethnicities (C-index: 0.82-0.87). Cut-off values of 50 and 60 were best for discriminating HCC risk. The 3- or 5-year cumulative incidences of HCC were 0-0.8%, 1.5-4.8%, and 8.1-19.9% in the low- (n = 7,413, 43.6%), medium- (n = 6,529, 38.4%), and high-risk (n = 3,044, 17.9%) groups, respectively. The cut-off value of 50 was associated with a sensitivity of 85.7-100% and a negative predictive value of 99.3-100%. The cut-off value of 60 resulted in a specificity of 56.6-95.8% and a positive predictive value of 6.6-15.7%.

Conclusions: This objective, simple, reliable risk score based on 5 common parameters accurately predicted HCC development, regardless of aetiology and ethnicity, which could help to establish a risk score-guided HCC surveillance strategy worldwide.

Lay Summary: In this international collaboration, we developed and externally validated a simple, objective and accurate prognostic tool (called the aMAP score), that involves only age, male, albumin-bilirubin and platelets. The aMAP score (ranged from 0 to 100) satisfactorily predicted the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development among over 17,000 patients with viral and non-viral hepatitis from 11 global prospective studies. Our findings show that the aMAP score had excellent discrimination and calibration in assessing the 5-year HCC risk among all the cohorts irrespective of aetiology and ethnicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.07.025DOI Listing
December 2020

Application of EASL 2017 criteria for switching hepatitis B patients from tenofovir disoproxil to entecavir or tenofovir alafenamide.

Dig Liver Dis 2020 10 20;52(10):1164-1169. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico - Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology - CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy; University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Background: To overcome safety limitations of tenofovir-disoproxil, EASL guidelines proposed switching chronic hepatitis B patients older than 60 years or with bone or renal disease to tenofovir-alafenamide or entecavir.

Aims: To estimate the number of patients who would benefit from a treatment switch in a real-life setting.

Methods: Consecutive hepatitis B patients receiving tenofovir-disoproxil before 31 December 2017 were enrolled in a cross-sectional study in two European hospitals. Clinical and virological data were recorded; renal function was assessed by estimated glomerular filtrate rate, serum phosphate and creatinine, proteinuria, and albuminuria; bone involvement by spine and femur DEXA scan.

Results: In total, 565 patients included: 62 (18-91) years, 75% males, 92% Caucasian, 92% HBeAg-negative, 40% cirrhotic. Fifty-five percent of patients fulfilled age criterion (>60 years). Older patients had higher rates of cirrhosis (51% vs 26%, p<0.001), cardiovascular disease, and renal impairment. Thirty-six percent of patients met renal criteria, more commonly NA-experienced individuals (35% vs 21%, p=0.001); 17% had bone disease. Overall, 66% of patients had at least one criterion (71% if NA-experienced), 8% all three criteria, 28% age and renal criteria.

Conclusions: Approximately two-thirds of patients receiving long-term tenofovir-disoproxil are candidates for an entecavir or tenofovir-alafenamide switch according to EASL recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2020.06.037DOI Listing
October 2020

Treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or entecavir in chronic hepatitis B virus-infected patients with renal impairment: results from a 7-year, multicentre retrospective cohort study.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2020 08 25;52(3):500-512. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Foster City, CA, USA.

Background: Limited data exist regarding tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) safety and effectiveness in chronic hepatitis B virus-infected (CHB) patients with renal impairment (RI).

Aims: To compare real-world data on renal safety and effectiveness of TDF vs entecavir (ETV) in CHB patients with moderate-to-severe RI.

Methods: Retrospective, non-interventional, cohort study analysing medical records for TDF/ETV-treated CHB patients (54 European centres). Included patients experienced moderate-to-severe RI (creatinine clearance 20-60 mL/min [Cockcroft-Gault]) either before TDF/ETV initiation ('before' subgroup [baseline = treatment initiation]) or after TDF/ETV initiation ('after' subgroup [baseline = first RI occurrence]). The primary objective was TDF safety, particularly renal-related adverse events of special interest (AESI). TDF and ETV safety and effectiveness were compared and multivariate analyses were performed using inverse probability treatment weighting.

Results: 'Before' subgroup included 107 TDF- and 91 ETV-treated patients; 'after' subgroup included 212 TDF- and 77 ETV-treated patients. Mean baseline creatinine clearance was higher for TDF- vs ETV-treated patients (both subgroups). Median follow-up was 3.1 years (both treatments). AESI were more frequent with TDF vs ETV ('before': 18.7% vs 8.8%; 'after': 9.9% vs 3.9%); however, differences were not significant by multivariate analysis. Only TDF-treated patients experienced renal tubular dysfunction (6.5% 'before'; 1.9% 'after') as well as renal adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation (8.4% 'before'; 7.1% 'after'). Effectiveness was similar between treatments.

Conclusions: Overall safety was similar for TDF vs ETV (both subgroups). Given that renal tubular dysfunction occurred with TDF and not with ETV, renal safety concerns may be greater with TDF in CHB patients with RI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.15901DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7383725PMC
August 2020

Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Steatosis: Preclinical Study of a New Nutraceutical Multitarget Formulation.

Nutrients 2020 Jun 18;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health-Neurofarba-Pharmacology and Toxicology Section, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy.

Multifactorial pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) disease, a wide-spread liver pathology associated with metabolic alterations triggered by hepatic steatosis, should be hit by multitarget therapeutics. We tested a multicomponent food supplement mixture (AP-NHm), whose components have anti-dislipidemic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, on in vitro and in vivo models of NASH. In vitro, hepatic cells cultures were treated for 24 h with 0.5 mM oleic acid (OA): in the co-treatment set cells were co-treated with AP-NH mixtures (AP-NHm, 1:3:10 ratio) and in the post-injury set AP-NHm was added for 48 h after OA damage. In vivo, C57BL/6 mice were fed with high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks, inducing NASH at 7th week, and treated with AP-NHm at two dosages (1:3 ratio) in co-treatment or post-injury protocols, while a control group was fed with a standard diet. In in vitro co-treatment protocol, alterations of redox balance, proinflammatory cytokines release and glucose uptake were restored in a dose-dependent manner, at highest dosages also in post-injury regimen. In both regimens, pathologic dyslipidemias were also ameliorated by AP-NHm. In vivo, high-dose-AP-NHm-co-treated-HFD mice dose-dependently gained less body weight, were protected from dyslipidemia, and showed a lower liver weight. Dose-dependently, AP-NHm treatment lowered hepatic LDL, HDL, triglycerides levels and oxidative damage; co-treatment regimen was anti-inflammatory, reducing TNF-α and IL-8 levels. Hepatic lipidic infiltration significantly decreased in co-treated and post-injury-AP-NHm-HFD animals. The multitarget approach with AP-NHm was effective in preventing and reducing NASH-related pathologic features, warranting for the clinical development of this compound.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12061819DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353335PMC
June 2020

Similar risk of hepatocellular carcinoma during long-term entecavir or tenofovir therapy in Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis B.

J Hepatol 2020 11 16;73(5):1037-1045. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Background & Aims: A recent study in Asian patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) reported that the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was lower in patients treated with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) than entecavir (ETV), but this finding remains controversial. We aimed to identify any differences in HCC incidence, or other patient outcomes, between patients receiving TDF or ETV in the well monitored, multicenter European PAGE-B cohort.

Methods: We included 1,935 Caucasians with CHB, with or without compensated cirrhosis, treated with ETV (n = 772) or TDF (n = 1,163) monotherapy. Mean follow-up was 7.1 ± 3.0 years from ETV/TDF onset.

Results: The 5-year cumulative HCC incidence was 5.4% in ETV- and 6.0% in TDF-treated patients (log-rank, p = 0.321), with no significant difference in any patient subgroup (with or without cirrhosis, naïve or experienced to oral antiviral(s) [total, with or without cirrhosis]). In multivariable Cox regression analyses, the hazard of HCC was similar between ETV- and TDF-treated patients after adjustment for several HCC risk factors. ETV- and TDF-treated patients had similar rates of on-therapy biochemical and virological remission, HBsAg loss, liver transplantation and/or death. Elastographic reversion of cirrhosis at year 5 (liver stiffness <12 kPa) was observed in 245/347 (70.6%) patients with pretreatment cirrhosis, being more frequent in TDF- than ETV- treated patients (73.8% vs. 61.5%, p = 0.038).

Conclusion: In Caucasian patients with CHB, with or without cirrhosis, long-term ETV or TDF monotherapy is associated with similar HCC risk, rates of biochemical/virological remission, HBsAg loss and liver transplantation or death, but elastographic reversion of cirrhosis at year 5 was more frequent with TDF.

Lay Summary: In a large cohort of Caucasians with chronic hepatitis B treated with entecavir (ETV) or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) monotherapy, cumulative rates of hepatocellular carcinoma did not differ (up to 12 years). Nor did rates of biochemical/virological remission, HBsAg loss and liver transplantation or death. However, elastographic reversion of cirrhosis at year 5 was more frequent in TDF- than ETV-treated patients with pretreatment cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.06.011DOI Listing
November 2020

High rates of 30-day mortality in patients with cirrhosis and COVID-19.

J Hepatol 2020 11 9;73(5):1063-1071. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Foundation IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CRC "A. M. and A. Migliavacca" Center for Liver Disease, Milan, Italy; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Background & Aims: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a major health threat to healthy individuals and those with comorbidities, but its impact on patients with cirrhosis is currently unknown. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the clinical outcome of patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: In this multicentre retrospective study, patients with cirrhosis and a confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were enrolled between 1 and 31 March 2020. Clinical and biochemical data at diagnosis of COVID-19 and at the last outpatient visit were obtained through review of medical records.

Results: Fifty patients with cirrhosis and confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled (age 67 years, 70% men, 38% virus-related, 52% previously compensated cirrhosis). At diagnosis, 64% of patients presented fever, 42% shortness of breath/polypnea, 22% encephalopathy, 96% needed hospitalization or a prolonged stay if already in hospital. Respiratory support was necessary in 71%, 52% received antivirals, 80% heparin. Serum albumin significantly decreased, while bilirubin, creatinine and prothrombin time significantly increased at COVID-19 diagnosis compared to last available data. The proportion of patients with a model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score ≥15 increased from 13% to 26% (p = 0.037), acute-on-chronic liver failure and de novo acute liver injury occurred in 14 (28%) and 10 patients, respectively. Seventeen patients died after a median of 10 (4-13) days from COVID-19 diagnosis, with a 30-day-mortality rate of 34%. The severity of lung and liver (according to CLIF-C, CLIF-OF and MELD scores) diseases independently predicted mortality. In patients with cirrhosis, mortality was significantly higher in those with COVID-19 than in those hospitalized for bacterial infections.

Conclusion: COVID-19 is associated with liver function deterioration and elevated mortality in patients with cirrhosis.

Lay Summary: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a major health threat to healthy individuals and those with comorbidities. Herein, we assessed its impact on patients with cirrhosis. Infection with COVID-19 was associated with liver function deterioration and elevated mortality in patients with cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280108PMC
November 2020

Global real-world evidence of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir as simple, effective HCV treatment: Analysis of 5552 patients from 12 cohorts.

Liver Int 2020 08 9;40(8):1841-1852. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, C.H.U. Pontevedra and IIS Galicia Sur, Pontevedra, Spain.

Background And Aims: Achieving sustained virological response (SVR; cure) in hepatitis C patients using a simple regimen is key to making elimination by 2030 possible. In the largest real-world analysis to date, the effectiveness of pangenotypic, panfibrotic, single-tablet, sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (SOF/VEL) once-daily for 12 weeks was assessed in 12 clinical real-world cohorts from various geographical areas, settings and treatment practices. Factors affecting risk of not achieving SVR were assessed.

Methods: Adults treated with SOF/VEL 400/100 mg, without ribavirin, were included. All HCV patients reaching Week 12 or 24 post-treatment were assessed for SVR12/24. Factors associated with not achieving SVR12/24 for virological reasons were evaluated using logistic regression analysis.

Results: Overall, 5552 patients were included: 13.3% treatment-experienced; 20.7% compensated cirrhotic; 30.2% genotype 1; 29.5% genotype 2; 32.9% genotype 3; 4.7% genotype 4; 3.7% HIV coinfection; 13.4% current/former intravenous drug use. Of the 5196 patients evaluated for effectiveness, 98.9% achieved SVR12/24. High SVR12/24 rates occurred in all genotypes including genotype 3 (98.3%; 1649/1677) and in those with compensated cirrhosis (97.9; 1055/1078). Only 55 patients did not achieve SVR12/24 due to a virological reason; the only factor statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of not achieving SVR12/24 was compensated cirrhosis (P = .002). Overall, 6% (332/5552) of patients did not achieve SVR12/24 for non-virological reasons (67% lost to follow-up; 26.5% early treatment discontinuation).

Conclusions: In this large cohort, representative of clinical practice, a simple 12-week regimen of SOF/VEL without ribavirin resulted in high SVR12/24 rates in diverse patient populations, even among those with compensated cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.14537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496473PMC
August 2020