Publications by authors named "Stefan Zeuzem"

751 Publications

Pulmonary impairment independently determines mortality in critically ill patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (119/130).

Liver Int 2022 Jun 21. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

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

Background & Aims: In ACLF patients, an adequate risk stratification is essential, especially for liver transplant allocation, since ACLF is associated with high short-term mortality. The CLIF-C ACLF score is the best prognostic model to predict outcome in ACLF patients. While lung failure is generally regarded as signum malum in ICU care, this study aims to evaluate and quantify the role of pulmonary impairment on outcome in ACLF patients.

Methods: In this retrospective study, 498 patients with liver cirrhosis and admission to IMC/ICU were included. ACLF was defined according to EASL-CLIF criteria. Pulmonary impairment was classified into three groups: unimpaired ventilation, need for mechanical ventilation and defined pulmonary failure. These factors were analyzed in different cohorts, including a propensity score-matched ACLF cohort.

Results: Mechanical ventilation and pulmonary failure were identified as independent risk factors for increased short-term mortality. In matched ACLF patients, presence of pulmonary failure showed the highest 28-day mortality (83.7%), whereas mortality rates in ACLF with mechanical ventilation (67.3%) and ACLF without pulmonary impairment (38.8%) were considerably lower (p<0.001). Especially in patients with pulmonary impairment, the CLIF-C ACLF score showed poor predictive accuracy. Adjusting the CLIF-C ACLF score for the grade of pulmonary impairment improved the prediction significantly.

Conclusions: This study highlights that not only pulmonary failure but also mechanical ventilation is associated with worse prognosis in ACLF patients. The grade of pulmonary impairment should be considered in the risk assessment in ACLF patients. The new score may be useful in selection of patients for liver transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.15343DOI Listing
June 2022

Final Safety and Efficacy Results from a 106 Real-World Patients Registry with an Ascites-Mobilizing Pump.

Liver Int 2022 Jun 10. Epub 2022 Jun 10.

University Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine, Inselspital University Hospital Bern, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Background & Aims: Patients with cirrhotic refractory ascites ineligible for transjugular intrahepatic shunt (TIPSS) have limited treatment options apart from repeated large volume paracentesis. The alfapump® is an implantable device mobilizing ascites from the peritoneal cavity to the bladder, from where it can be excreted. The aim of this observational cohort study was to prospectively investigate safety and efficacy of the device in a real-world cohort with cirrhotic refractory ascites and contraindications for TIPSS.

Methods: A total of 106 patients received an implant at twelve European centers and were followed up for up to 24 months. Complications, device deficiencies, frequency of paracentesis, clinical status and survival were recorded prospectively.

Results: Approximately half of the patients died on-study, about a quarter were withdrawn due to serious adverse events leading to explant, a sixth were withdrawn due to liver transplant or recovery, and nine completed follow-up. The most frequent causes of on-study death and complication-related explant were progression of liver disease and infection. The device reduced the requirement for large volume paracentesis significantly, with more than half of patients not having required any post-implant. Survival benefits were not observed. Device-related reinterventions were predominantly caused by device deficiencies. A post-hoc comparison of the first 50 vs. the last 50 patients enrolled revealed a decreased reintervention rate in the latter, mainly related to peritoneal catheter modifications.

Conclusions: The device reduced paracentesis frequency in a real-world setting. Technical complications were successfully decreased by optimization of management and device modification (NCT01532427).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.15337DOI Listing
June 2022

Impact of colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms on antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with cirrhosis and variceal bleeding.

PLoS One 2022 24;17(5):e0268638. Epub 2022 May 24.

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

Background: The efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent rebleeding or infection after variceal bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis colonized with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) is unknown.

Methods: In this retrospective study, patients with liver cirrhosis and endoscopically confirmed variceal bleeding who were treated at a tertiary care center in Germany and were screened for MDROs at the time of bleeding were eligible for inclusion. Efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis was evaluated in patients stratified according to microbiological susceptibility testing.

Results: From 97 patients, the majority had decompensated liver cirrhosis (median MELD Score 17) and ACLF was present in half of the patients (47.4%). One third of patients were colonized with MDRO at baseline. De-novo infection until day 10 or the combination of de-novo infection or rebleeding were comparable among both groups (p = 0.696 and p = 0.928, log-rank-test). Risk of de-novo infection or rebleeding was not significantly increased in patients who received antibiotic prophylaxis that did not cover the MDRO found upon baseline screening. Acute-on-chronic liver failure at baseline was the strongest and only independent risk factor that was associated with both outcomes (OR 5.52, 95%-CI 1.48-20.61, p = 0.011 and OR 11.5, 95%-CI 2.70-48.62, p<0.001). Neither MDRO colonization at baseline nor covering all detected MDRO with antibiotic prophylaxis (i.e. "adequate" prophylaxis) impacted transplant-free survival. Again, the presence of ACLF was the strongest independent risk factor associated with mortality (OR 9.85, 95%-CI 3.58-27.12, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: In this study, MDRO colonization did not increase the risk of rebleeding, infections nor death, even if antibiotic prophylaxis administered did not cover all MDRO detected at MDRO screening. Patients with ACLF had an increased risk of bleeding, infections and death.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0268638PLOS
May 2022

Comparison of short-course antibiotic therapy of 6 or less days with a longer treatment in patients with cholangitis after liver transplantation.

Transpl Infect Dis 2022 May 22:e13868. Epub 2022 May 22.

Department for Internal Medicine I/Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Objectives: Stenosis of the biliary anastomosis predisposes liver graft recipients to bacterial cholangitis. Antibiotic therapy (AT) is performed according to individual clinical judgment, but duration of AT remains unclear.

Methods: All liver graft recipients with acute cholangitis according to the Tokyo criteria grade 1 and 2 after endoscopic retrograde cholangiography (ERC) were included. Outcome of patients treated with short AT (<7 days) was compared to long AT (>6 days). Recurrent cholangitis (RC) within 28 days was the primary end point.

Results: In total, 30 patients were included with a median of 313 (range 34-9849) days after liver transplantation until first proven cholangitis. Among 62 cases in total, 51/62 (82%) were graded as Tokyo-1 and 11/62 (18%) as Tokyo-2. Overall median duration of AT was 6 days (1-14) with 36 cases (58%) receiving short AT and 26 (42%) receiving long AT. RC was observed in 10 (16%) cases, without significant difference in occurrence of RC in short versus long AT cases. CRP and bilirubin were significantly higher in patients with long AT, while low serum albumin and low platelets were associated with risk of RC.

Conclusion: A shorter antibiotic course than 7 days shows good results in selected, ERC-treated patients for post-transplantation biliary strictures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tid.13868DOI Listing
May 2022

The recent outbreak of acute severe hepatitis in children of unknown origin - what is known so far.

J Hepatol 2022 Jul 6;77(1):237-242. Epub 2022 May 6.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:

At the beginning of April 2022, 10 cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children <10 years of age were reported across central Scotland. Since then, case numbers have increased rapidly, with 191 probable cases identified across Europe, the United States of America, Israel and Japan. Until now, 17 children required liver transplantation and 1 died. Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control have both issued a warning on a hepatitis of unknown origin in children. This review focuses on the available information concerning this recent outbreak and introduces some of the potential explanations for its development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2022.05.001DOI Listing
July 2022

Diagnostic value of a liver biopsy in patients with an acute liver failure or acute liver injury.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022 Jul 29;34(7):801-806. Epub 2022 Apr 29.

Department of Internal Medicine I, Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt.

Objectives: The diagnostic value of liver biopsy in patients with acute liver injury or acute liver failure (ALI/ALF) was investigated.

Methods: Data from the initial event and follow-up visits were retrospectively analyzed in all patients with a liver biopsy during ALI/ALF from January 2010 to May 2020 at the University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany.

Results: The cohort comprised 66 patients. Post-biopsy hemorrhage occurred in 2 of 66 but was self-limited. In five patients suspected liver involvement by a systemic extrahepatic disease was confirmed and excluded in eight patients. In 4 of 66 patients, the etiology of ALI/ALF remained unknown. Liver biopsy hinted at the etiology of ALI/ALF in 2 of 6 patients with rare diagnoses (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: 2 of 66; ischemic liver injury: 1 of 66, ALI/ALF due to a systemic infection: 3 of 66). In 31 of 34 patients with drug-induced liver injury (DILI), histopathology suggested DILI; in further 2 patients, DILI was among the differential diagnoses. However, DILI was also the histopathologically preferred diagnosis in 12 of 15 patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Only in 3 of 15 patients, histopathology was considered compatible with AIH. Serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and autoantibodies during ALI/ALF were higher in patients with AIH than with DILI. Patients with AIH did not show a more pronounced biochemical response to corticosteroids in the first 10 days of treatment than patients with DILI.

Conclusions: Liver biopsy is indispensable when liver involvement by an extrahepatic disease is suspected. To distinguish AIH from DILI in ALI/ALF, serum IgG, and autoantibodies seem more helpful than liver biopsy; long-term follow-up is needed in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000002382DOI Listing
July 2022

Impact of Liver Fibrosis on Survival of Patients with Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma Receiving Gemcitabine-Based Chemotherapy.

J Clin Med 2022 Apr 6;11(7). Epub 2022 Apr 6.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt, 60590 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) is the most frequent subtype of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), and the incidence has globally increased in recent years. In contrast to surgically treated iCCA, data on the impact of fibrosis on survival in patients undergoing palliative chemotherapy are missing. We retrospectively analyzed the cases of 70 patients diagnosed with iCCA between 2007 and 2020 in our tertiary hospital. Histopathological assessment of fibrosis was performed by an expert hepatobiliary pathologist. Additionally, the fibrosis-4 score (FIB-4) was calculated as a non-invasive surrogate marker for liver fibrosis. For overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS), Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox-regression analyses were performed. Subgroup analyses revealed a median OS of 21 months (95% CI = 16.7-25.2 months) and 16 months (95% CI = 7.6-24.4 months) for low and high fibrosis, respectively ( 0.152). In non-cirrhotic patients, the median OS was 21.8 months (95% CI = 17.1-26.4 months), compared with 9.5 months (95% CI = 4.6-14.3 months) in cirrhotic patients ( 0.007). In conclusion, patients with iCCA and cirrhosis receiving palliative chemotherapy have decreased OS rates, while fibrosis has no significant impact on OS or PFS. These patients should not be prevented from state-of-the-art first-line chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm11072057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8999345PMC
April 2022

Anti-EGFR Reintroduction and Rechallenge in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC): A Real-World Analysis.

Cancers (Basel) 2022 Mar 24;14(7). Epub 2022 Mar 24.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.

Background And Aims: In patients with () wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies have been established in first- and further therapy lines. Due to limited treatment options upon disease progression, anti-EGFR re-exposure is increasingly employed in real-world oncology. The aim of this study was to assess clinical implementation and utility of anti-EGFR retreatment strategies in real-world mCRC patients.

Methods: In this monocentric retrospective study, we included 524 patients with CRC and identified patients who received an anti-EGFR-based treatment as well as anti-EGFR rechallenge (progression on first-line anti-EGFR therapy) or reintroduction (discontinuation due to intolerance/toxicity/other).

Results: In total, 143 patients received an anti-EGFR-based first- or second-line treatment, showing a similar overall survival (OS) compared to the non-anti-EGFR treatment group (38.3 vs. 39.6 months, = 0.88). Thirty-three patients met the inclusion criteria for anti-EGFR re-exposure and were either assigned to rechallenge ( = 21) or reintroduction ( = 12) subgroups. The median FU after re-exposure was 45.8 months. Cetuximab and Panitumumab were used in 21 and 12 patients, respectively, and the main chemotherapy at re-exposure was FOLFIRI in 39.4%. Anti-EGFR re-exposure was associated with a distinct trend towards a better outcome (median OS 56.0 vs. 35.4 months, = 0.06). In a subgroup comparison, reintroduction was associated with a higher OS and PFS in trend compared to the rechallenge (mOS 66 vs. 52.4, n.s., mPFS 7.33 vs. 3.68 months, n.s.).

Conclusions: This retrospective study provides real-world evidence underscoring that anti-EGFR re-exposure strategies might benefit patients independently of the reason for prior discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers14071641DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8996856PMC
March 2022

Updated epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infections and implications for hepatitis C virus elimination in Germany.

J Viral Hepat 2022 Jul 5;29(7):536-542. Epub 2022 May 5.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

In 2014, an analysis was conducted to evaluate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology and disease burden in Germany. Since then, there have been considerable developments in HCV management such as the implementation of direct acting antivirals. The aim of this analysis was to assess the recent data available for Germany, establish an updated 2020 HCV prevalence and cascade of care and evaluate the impact of what-if scenarios on the future burden of disease using modelling analysis. A dynamic Markov model was used to forecast the HCV disease burden in Germany. Model inputs were retrieved through literature review, unpublished sources and expert input. Next, three "what-if" scenarios were developed to evaluate the status quo, COVID-19 pandemic, and steps needed to achieve the WHO targets for elimination. At the beginning of 2020, there were 189,000 (95% UI: 76,700-295,000) viremic infections in Germany, a decline of more than 85,000 viremic infections since 2012. Annual treatment starts went down since 2015. Compared with 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a further 11% decline in 2020. If this continues for two years, it could result in 110 excess HCC cases and 200 excess liver related deaths by 2030. To achieve the WHO targets, 81,200 people need to be diagnosed, with 118,600 initiated on treatment by 2030. This could also avert 1,020 deaths and 720 HCC cases between 2021 and 2030. Germany has made strides towards HCV elimination, but more efforts are needed to achieve the WHO targets by 2030.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13680DOI Listing
July 2022

Low Platelet Count Predicts Reduced Survival in Potentially Resectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Curr Oncol 2022 02 28;29(3):1475-1487. Epub 2022 Feb 28.

Department of Medicine, University Hospital Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.

The prognostic role of platelet count in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear, and in fact both thrombocytopenia and thrombocytosis are reported as predictors of unfavourable outcomes. This study aimed to clarify the prognostic value of preoperative platelet count in potentially resectable HCC. We retrospectively reviewed 128 patients who underwent hepatic resection for HCC at a tertiary academic centre (2007-2019). Patient data were modelled by regression analysis, and platelet count was treated as a continuous variable. 89 patients had BCLC 0/A tumours and 39 had BCLC B tumours. Platelet count was higher in patients with larger tumours and lower in patients with higher MELD scores, advanced fibrosis, and portal hypertension ( < 0.001 for all listed variables). After adjusting for BCLC stage and tumour diameter, low platelet count associated with reduced overall survival (hazard ratio 1.25 per 50/nL decrease in platelet count, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.53, = 0.034) and increased perioperative mortality (odds ratio 1.96 per 50/nL decrease in platelet count, 95% CI 1.19-3.53, = 0.014). Overall, low platelet count correlates with increased liver disease severity, inferior survival, and excess perioperative mortality in resectable HCC. These insights might be applied in clinical practice to better select patients for resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29030124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8947630PMC
February 2022

[Treatment of parenterally transmittable viral hepatitis].

Internist (Berl) 2022 Apr 18;63(4):388-396. Epub 2022 Mar 18.

Medizinische Klinik II, St. Josefs-Hospital Wiesbaden, Beethovenstr. 20, 65189, Wiesbaden, Deutschland.

The parenterally transmittable hepatitides B, D and C and their complications are a problem worldwide and also in Germany that should not be underestimated. Due to the estimated high gray area, a broad distribution, particularly by drug abuse, increasing prevalence due to immigration and a pandemic-related delay in the diagnostics, the identification of affected persons and therefore potentially infectious patients represents a great challenge for the healthcare system. Highly effective treatment concepts with practically no side effects and a tablet ingestion once daily are available for hepatitis B and also hepatitis C. For hepatitis B this involves long-term treatment for suppression of replication, whereas for hepatitis C virus elimination occurs within a few weeks. A new treatment concept with inhibition of virus uptake for treatment of hepatitis D first became available in September 2020. For all patients a long-term further monitoring is necessary when advanced liver damage or even liver cirrhosis occurs, especially for the exclusion of liver cell carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00108-022-01287-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8932089PMC
April 2022

Impact of a shorter replacement interval of plastic stents on premature stent exchange rate in benign and malignant biliary strictures.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022 Jun 17;37(6):1076-1082. Epub 2022 Mar 17.

Department of Internal Medicine I, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.

Background And Aim: The main disadvantage of plastic stents is the high rate of stent occlusion. The usual replacement interval of biliary plastic stents is 3 months. This study aimed to investigate if a shorter interval of 6-8 weeks impacts the median premature exchange rate (mPER) in benign and malignant biliary strictures.

Methods: All cases with endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and plastic stent placement were retrospectively analyzed since establishing an elective replacement interval of every 6-8 weeks at our institution and mPER was determined.

Results: A total of 3979 ERCPs (1199 patients) were analyzed, including 1262 (31.7%) malignant and 2717 (68.3%) benign cases, respectively. The median stent patency (mSP) was 41 days (range 14-120) for scheduled stent exchanges, whereas it was 17 days (1-75) for prematurely exchanged stents. The mPER was significantly higher for malignant (28.1%, 35-50%) compared with benign strictures (15.2%, 10-28%), P < 0.0001, respectively. mSP was significantly shorter in cases with only one stent (34 days [1-87] vs 41 days [1-120]) and in cases with only a 7-Fr stent (28 days [2-79]) compared with a larger stent (34 days [1-87], P = 0.001). Correspondingly, mPER was significantly higher in cases with only one stent (23% vs 16.2%, P < 0.0001) and only a 7-Fr stent (31.3% vs 22.4%, P = 0.03).

Conclusion: A shorter replacement interval does not seem to lead to a clinically meaningful reduction of mPER in benign and malignant strictures. Large stents and multiple stenting should be favored as possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15824DOI Listing
June 2022

Diagnostic and prognostic significance of cell death markers in patients with cirrhosis and acute decompensation.

PLoS One 2022 17;17(2):e0263989. Epub 2022 Feb 17.

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

Background: The transition from compensated to decompensated liver cirrhosis is a hallmark of disease progression, however, reliable predictors to assess the risk of decompensation in individual patients from routine diagnostics are lacking. Here, we characterize serum levels of cell death-associated markers and routine biochemistry from patients with chronic liver disease with and without decompensation.

Methods: A post-hoc analysis was based on prospectively collected clinical data from 160 patients with chronic liver disease, stably compensated or decompensated at baseline or during follow-up, over a median period of 721 days. Serum levels of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and routine biochemistry are quantified at baseline (for all patients) and during follow-up (for patients with acute decompensation). The panel of DAMPs assessed in this study comprises high-mobility group-box protein 1 (HMGB1), cytochrome C (cyt C), soluble Fas-ligand (sFasL), interleukin 6 (IL-6), soluble cytokeratin-18 (CK18-M65) and its caspase-cleaved fragment CK18-M30.

Results: In this cohort study, 80 patients (50%) were diagnosed with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, 60 patients (37.5%) with hepatitis C virus- and 20 patients (13.5%) with hepatitis B virus-related liver cirrhosis. At baseline, 17 patients (10.6%) showed decompensated liver disease and another 28 patients (17.5%) developed acute decompensation during follow-up (within 24 months). One hundred fifteen patients showed stable liver disease (71.9%). We found DAMPs significantly elevated in patients with decompensated liver disease versus compensated liver disease. Patients with acute decompensation during follow-up showed higher baseline levels of IL-6, sFasL, CK18-M65 and-M30 (P<0.01) compared to patients with stably compensated liver disease. In multivariate analyses, we found an independent association of baseline serum levels of sFasL (P = 0.02; OR = 2.67) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) (P<0.001; OR = 2.1) with acute decompensation. Accuracy of the marker combination for predicting acute decompensation was high (AUC = 0.79). Elevated aminotransferase levels did not correlate with decompensated liver disease and acute decompensation.

Conclusions: DAMPs are elevated in patients with decompensated liver disease and patients developing acute decompensation. The prognostic value of a marker combination with soluble Fas-ligand and GGT in patients with liver cirrhosis should be further evaluated.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0263989PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8853504PMC
February 2022

Rectal colonization by resistant bacteria increases the risk of infection by the colonizing strain in critically ill patients with cirrhosis.

J Hepatol 2022 05 22;76(5):1079-1089. Epub 2022 Jan 22.

Liver ICU, Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, IDIBAPS and CIBERehd, Spain; EF Clif, EASL-CLIF Consortium, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: It remains unclear whether rectal colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) is prevalent and predisposes to infections by the same pathogens in patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: Two series of critically ill patients were evaluated. In the Barcelona cohort, 486 consecutive patients were prospectively evaluated, 129 with and 357 without cirrhosis (2015-2016). Rectal swabs were performed at admission and weekly thereafter (until intensive care unit [ICU] discharge) to detect MDRO colonization. Risk factors for colonization and infection by MDROs were evaluated. A retrospective cohort from Frankfurt (421 patients with cirrhosis; 2010-2018) was investigated to evaluate MDRO rectal colonization in another epidemiological scenario.

Results: In the Barcelona cohort, 159 patients were colonized by MDROs (32.7%), 102 (64.2%) at admission and 57 (35.8%) during follow-up. Patients with cirrhosis showed higher rates of rectal colonization at admission than those without cirrhosis (28.7% vs. 18.2%, p = 0.01) but similar colonization rates during ICU stay. Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-Enterobacterales were the most frequent MDROs isolated in both groups. Colonization by MDROs independently increased the risk of infection by MDROs at admission and during follow-up. Risk of new infection by the colonizing strain was also significantly increased in patients with (hazard ratio [HR] 7.41) and without (HR 5.65) cirrhosis. Rectal colonization by MDROs was also highly prevalent in Frankfurt (n = 198; 47%; 131 at admission [66.2%] and 67 [33.8%] during follow-up), with vancomycin-resistant enterococci being the most frequent colonizing organism. Rectal colonization by MDROs was also associated with an increased risk of infection by MDROs in this cohort. Infections occurring in MDR carriers were mainly caused by the colonizing strain.

Conclusion: Rectal colonization by MDROs is extremely frequent in critically ill patients with cirrhosis. Colonization increases the risk of infection by the colonizing resistant strain.

Lay Summary: Rectal colonization by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) is a prevalent problem in patients with cirrhosis requiring critical care. The pattern of colonizing bacteria is heterogeneous with relevant differences between centers. Colonization by MDROs is associated with increased risk of infection by the colonizing bacteria in the short term. This finding suggests that colonization data could be used to guide empirical antibiotic therapy and de-escalation policies in patients with cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.12.042DOI Listing
May 2022

[Treatment of hepatitis C infections in the era of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)].

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2022 Feb 10;65(2):246-253. Epub 2022 Jan 10.

Medizinische Klinik 1, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland.

Untreated chronic hepatitis C infection can lead to severe and potentially fatal liver-associated complications. Therefore, every hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents an indication for antiviral treatment. In particular, patients with progressive liver disease should be treated urgently. Here, we review indication for treatment as well as goals and basic principles of antiviral therapy. In addition, different treatment regimens and monitoring of the treatment course and outcome are discussed.Today, the treatment of chronic HCV infection is based on interferon-free regimens combining different direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), where the choice of DAA-regimen depends on the viral genotype, previous treatments, and the state of liver fibrosis. With these regimens, equally high virus eradication rates are achievable in patients with compensated liver cirrhosis and in patients without advanced liver disease. In addition, patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis or patients with end-stage renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy, as well as children from an age of 3 years, can be treated safely and highly efficiently with DAA-containing regimens. Physicians should be aware of possible drug interactions of the DAAs with concomitant administered drugs. However, possible interactions can be checked easily online. Although, there is an improvement of prognosis after HCV eradication, patients with advanced liver fibrosis or liver cirrhosis must be included in a lifelong HCC surveillance program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00103-021-03481-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8744052PMC
February 2022

Trends and the course of liver cirrhosis and its complications in Germany: Nationwide population-based study (2005 to 2018).

Lancet Reg Health Eur 2022 Jan 4;12:100240. Epub 2021 Nov 4.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Background: Cirrhosis is known to have a high prevalence and mortality worldwide. However, in Europe, the epidemiology of cirrhosis is possibly undergoing demographic changes, and etiologies may have changed due to improvements in standard of care. The aim of this population-based study was to analyze the trends and the course of liver cirrhosis and its complications in recent years in Germany.

Methods: We analyzed the data of all hospital admissions in Germany within diagnosis-related groups from 2005 to 2018. The diagnostic records of cirrhosis and other categories of diseases were based on ICD-10-GM codes. The primary outcome measurement was in-hospital mortality. Trends were analyzed through Poisson regression of annual number of admissions. The impact of cirrhosis on overall in-hospital mortality were assessed through the multivariate multilevel logistic regression model adjusted for age, sex, and comorbidities.

Findings: Of the 248,085,936 admissions recorded between 2005 and 2018, a total of 2,302,171(0•94%) were admitted with the diagnosis of cirrhosis, mainly as a comorbidity. Compared with other chronic diseases, patients admitted with cirrhosis were younger, mainly male and had the highest in-hospital mortality rate. Diagnosis of cirrhosis was an independent risk factor of in-hospital mortality with the highest odds ratio (OR:6•2[95%CI:6.1-6•3]) among all diagnoses. The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has increased four times from 2005 to 2018, while alcoholic cirrhosis is 20 times than other etiologies. Bleeding was found to be decreasing over time, but ascites remained the most common complication and was increasing.

Interpretation: This nationwide study demonstrates that cirrhosis represents a considerable healthcare burden, as shown by the increasing in-hospital mortality, also in combination with other chronic diseases. Alcohol-related cirrhosis and complications are on the rise. More resources and better management strategies are warranted.

Funding: The funders had no influence on this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100240DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8640738PMC
January 2022

Molecular Surveillance of Carbapenem-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria in Liver Transplant Candidates.

Front Microbiol 2021 22;12:791574. Epub 2021 Nov 22.

Institute of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (CRGN) cause life-threatening infections due to limited antimicrobial treatment options. The occurrence of CRGN is often linked to hospitalization and antimicrobial treatment but remains incompletely understood. CRGN are common in patients with severe illness (e.g., liver transplantation patients). Using whole-genome sequencing (WGS), we aimed to elucidate the evolution of CRGN in this vulnerable cohort and to reconstruct potential transmission routes. From 351 patients evaluated for liver transplantation, 18 CRGN isolates (from 17 patients) were analyzed. Using WGS and bioinformatic analysis, genotypes and phylogenetic relationships were explored. Potential epidemiological links were assessed by analysis of patient charts. Carbapenem-resistant (CR) (=9) and CR (=7) were the predominating pathogens. analysis revealed that 14/18 CRGN did not harbor carbapenemase-coding genes, whereas in 4/18 CRGN, carbapenemases (VIM-1, VIM-2, OXA-232, and OXA-72) were detected. Among all isolates, there was no evidence of plasmid transfer-mediated carbapenem resistance. A close phylogenetic relatedness was found for three isolates. Although no epidemiological context was comprehensible for the CRGN isolates, evidence was found that the isolates resulted of a transmission of a carbapenem-susceptible ancestor before individual radiation into CRGN. The integrative epidemiological study reveals a high diversity of CRGN in liver cirrhosis patients. Mutation of carbapenem-susceptible ancestors appears to be the dominant way of CR acquisition rather than in-hospital transmission of CRGN or carbapenemase-encoding genetic elements. This study underlines the need to avoid transmission of carbapenem-susceptible ancestors in vulnerable patient cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.791574DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8645865PMC
November 2021

Hepatic sarcoidosis: Clinical characteristics and outcome.

JHEP Rep 2021 Dec 3;3(6):100360. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Background & Aims: Clinical manifestation of hepatic involvement in sarcoidosis can vary from asymptomatic disease to severe complications such as cirrhosis and portal hypertension. However, data on hepatic sarcoidosis are limited, and evidence-based recommendations are lacking. Our study aimed to assess the features and clinical course of hepatic sarcoidosis in a predominantly Caucasian cohort.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study including all patients with hepatic sarcoidosis between 2004 and 2020 in 5 German centres. The median follow-up time was 36 months (range 0.0-195). Data on demographic parameters, clinical manifestations, diagnostic test results, treatment, and outcome were collected.

Results: A total of 1,476 patients with sarcoidosis and 62 patients with hepatic involvement (4.2%) were identified. Of the patients, 51.6% were female, and 80.6% were Caucasian. Most patients were asymptomatic and were observed to have a cholestatic pattern of liver enzyme elevations. Cirrhosis was detected in 9 patients (14.5%), of whom 6 developed clinical manifestations of portal hypertension. Fifty-four patients were medically treated, most commonly with glucocorticoids (69.4%) or ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) (40.3%). Levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) decreased by 60.8% on average from baseline in patients treated with glucocorticoids and by 59.9% in patients treated with UDCA. Seventeen patients received treatment augmentation with a second line agent, of whom 8 patients normalised ALP levels during follow-up. None of the patients underwent liver transplantation or developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Three of the patients died during follow-up owing to liver-related complications.

Conclusions: Hepatic involvement in sarcoidosis was found in 4.2% of patients with sarcoidosis and was clinically significant in 14.5% of those. These findings highlight the importance of early identifying, monitoring, and treating hepatic sarcoidosis, given its increased mortality when associated with end-stage liver disease.

Lay Summary: Clinical diagnostic and surveillance of hepatic involvement in sarcoidosis has not been standardised, and management of hepatic involvement is a clinical challenge, since it remains poorly characterised in many ways. Our results show that one-third of patients with hepatic sarcoidosis presented with clinically significant portal hypertension, 14.5% suffered from cirrhosis, and 3 patients died owing to liver-related complications. Regarding pharmacological treatment options, corticosteroids and UDCA were the medical agents most frequently used, and both of them have been shown to induce biochemical response in the majority of patients. These findings highlight the importance of correctly and early identifying hepatic involvement in sarcoidosis, because of the potentially progressive course of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2021.100360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8571721PMC
December 2021

First description of immune complex vasculitis after COVID-19 vaccination with BNT162b2: a case report.

BMC Infect Dis 2021 Sep 16;21(1):958. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, University Hospital Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Background: Cases of immune complex vasculitis have been reported following COVID-19 infections; so far none in association with novel mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination. This case report describes a cutaneous immune complex vasculitis after vaccination with BNT162b2.

Case Presentation: A 76-year old male with liver cirrhosis developed an immune complex vasculitis 12 days after the second injection of BNT162b2. On physical examination, the patient presented with pruritic purpuric macules on hands and feet, flexor and extensor parts of both legs and thighs and lower abdomen, and bloody diarrhoea. Laboratory testing showed elevated inflammatory markers. After short treatment with oral steroids all clinical manifestations and laboratory findings resolved.

Conclusions: An increasing number of clinical manifestations have been attributed to COVID-19 infection and vaccination. This is the first written report of immune complex vasculitis after vaccination with BNT162b2. We present our case report and a discussion in the light of type three hypersensitivity reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06655-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8443965PMC
September 2021

Percutaneous endoscopic necrosectomy using an automated rotor resection device in severe necrotizing pancreatitis.

Endoscopy 2021 Aug 9. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1540-6191DOI Listing
August 2021

Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to treat acute-on-chronic liver failure: A multicenter randomized trial (GRAFT study).

J Hepatol 2021 12 5;75(6):1346-1354. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Division of Hepatology, Department of Medicine II, Leipzig University Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Based on positive results from small single center studies, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is being widely used for the treatment of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Herein, we aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of G-CSF in patients with ACLF.

Methods: In this multicenter, prospective, controlled, open-label phase II study, 176 patients with ACLF (EASL-CLIF criteria) were randomized to receive G-CSF (5 μg/kg daily for the first 5 days and every third day thereafter until day 26) plus standard medical therapy (SMT) (n = 88) or SMT alone. The primary efficacy endpoint was 90-day transplant-free survival analyzed by Cox regression modeling. The key secondary endpoints were overall and transplant-free survival after 360 days, the development of ACLF-related complications, and the course of liver function scores during the entire observation period.

Results: Patients treated with G-CSF had a 90-day transplant-free survival rate of 34.1% compared to 37.5% in the SMT group (hazard ratio [HR] 1.05; 95% CI 0.711-1.551; p = 0.805). Transplant-free and overall survival at 360 days did not differ between the 2 arms (HR 0.998; 95% CI 0.697-1.430; p = 0.992 and HR 1.058; 95% CI 0.727-1.548; p = 0.768, respectively). G-CSF did not improve liver function scores, the occurrence of infections, or survival in subgroups of patients without infections, with alcohol-related ACLF, or with ACLF defined by the APASL criteria. Sixty-one serious adverse events were reported in the G-CSF+SMT group and 57 were reported in the SMT group. In total, 7 drug-related serious adverse reactions occurred in the G-CSF group. The study was prematurely terminated due to futility after conditional power calculation.

Conclusions: In contrast to previous findings, G-CSF had no significant beneficial effect on patients with ACLF in this multicenter controlled trial, which suggests that it should not be used as a standard treatment for ACLF. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Number: NCT02669680 LAY SUMMARY: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor was considered as a novel treatment for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). We performed the first randomized, multicenter, controlled phase II trial, which showed that G-CSF did not improve survival or other clinical endpoints in patients with ACLF. Therefore, G-CSF should not be used to treat liver disease outside clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.07.033DOI Listing
December 2021

Non-invasive assessment of fibrosis regression and portal hypertension in patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease and sustained virologic response (SVR): 3 years follow-up of a prospective longitudinal study.

J Viral Hepat 2021 11 1;28(11):1604-1613. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Medizinische Klinik 1, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Long-term effects on cirrhosis and portal hypertension of direct antiviral agent (DAA)-based eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are still under debate. We analysed dynamics of liver and spleen elastography to assess potential regression of cirrhosis and portal hypertension 3 years post-treatment. Fifty-four patients with HCV-associated cirrhosis and DAA-induced SVR were included. Liver and spleen stiffness were measured at baseline (BL), end of treatment (EOT), 24 weeks after EOT (FU24) and 1, 2 and 3 (FU144) years post-treatment by transient liver elastography (L-TE) and point shear wave elastography (pSWE) using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) of the liver (L-ARFI) and spleen (S-ARFI). Biochemical, virological and clinical data were also obtained. Liver stiffness assessed by L-TE decreased between BL [median (range), 32.5(9.1-75) kPa] and EOT [21.3(6.7-73.5) kPa; p < .0001] and EOT and FU144 [16(4.1-75) kPa; p = .006]. L-ARFI values improved between EOT [2.5(1.2-4.1) m/s] and FU144 [1.7(0.9-4.1) m/s; p = .001], while spleen stiffness remained unchanged. Overall, L-TE improved in 38 of 54 (70.4%) patients at EOT and 29 of 38 (76.3%) declined further until FU144, whereas L-ARFI values decreased in 30/54 (55.6%) patients at EOT and continued to decrease in 28/30 (93.3%) patients at FU144. Low bilirubin and high albumin levels at BL were associated with improved L-ARFI values (p = .048) at EOT or regression of cirrhosis (<12.5 kPa) by L-TE at FU144 (p = .005), respectively. Liver stiffness, but not spleen stiffness, continued to decline in a considerable proportion of patients with advanced liver disease after HCV eradication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvh.13587DOI Listing
November 2021

Epistatic interactions promote persistence of NS3-Q80K in HCV infection by compensating for protein folding instability.

J Biol Chem 2021 09 31;297(3):101031. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Department of Internal Medicine 1, Goethe University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; University Center for Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Electronic address:

The Q80K polymorphism in the NS3-4A protease of the hepatitis C virus is associated with treatment failure of direct-acting antiviral agents. This polymorphism is highly prevalent in genotype 1a infections and stably transmitted between hosts. Here, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of evolutionarily conserved coevolving amino acids in NS3-Q80K and revealed potential implications of epistatic interactions in immune escape and variants persistence. Using purified protein, we characterized the impact of epistatic amino acid substitutions on the physicochemical properties and peptide cleavage kinetics of the NS3-Q80K protease. We found that Q80K destabilized the protease protein fold (p < 0.0001). Although NS3-Q80K showed reduced peptide substrate turnover (p < 0.0002), replicative fitness in an H77S.3 cell culture model of infection was not significantly inferior to the WT virus. Epistatic substitutions at residues 91 and 174 in NS3-Q80K stabilized the protein fold (p < 0.0001) and leveraged the WT protease stability. However, changes in protease stability inversely correlated with enzymatic activity. In infectious cell culture, these secondary substitutions were not associated with a gain of replicative fitness in NS3-Q80K variants. Using molecular dynamics, we observed that the total number of residue contacts in NS3-Q80K mutants correlated with protein folding stability. Changes in the number of contacts reflected the compensatory effect on protein folding instability by epistatic substitutions. In summary, epistatic substitutions in NS3-Q80K contribute to viral fitness by mechanisms not directly related to RNA replication. By compensating for protein-folding instability, epistatic interactions likely protect NS3-Q80K variants from immune cell recognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8405986PMC
September 2021

SPTAN1 Expression Predicts Treatment and Survival Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jul 20;13(14). Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Department of Medicine, Biomedical Research Laboratory, University Hospital Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. In a cohort of 189 patients with CRC, we recently showed that expression of the cytoskeletal scaffolding protein non-erythroid spectrin αII (SPTAN1) was lower in advanced metastatic tumours. The aim of the present study was to clarify the association of intratumoural SPTAN1 expression levels with treatment and survival outcomes in patients with CRC. The analysis was based on histologic assessment of SPTAN1 protein levels in our own CRC cohort, and transcriptome data of 573 CRC cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We first establish that high intratumoural levels of SPTAN1 protein and mRNA associate with favourable survival outcomes in patients with CRC. Next, a response prediction signature applied to the TCGA data reveals a possible link between high SPTAN1 transcript levels and improved patient responses to FOLFOX chemotherapy. Complementary in vitro experiments confirm that SPTAN1 knockdown strains of the colon cancer cell lines HT-29, HCT116 mlh1-2 and Caco-2 are less responsive to FOLFOX chemotherapy compared with SPTAN1-proficient control strains. Taken together, we identify SPTAN1 as a novel prognostic biomarker in CRC and show that SPTAN1 expression levels may predict patient responses to chemotherapy. These investigations illustrate how an affordable, histology-based diagnostic test could directly impact therapeutic decision-making at the bedside.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13143638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305611PMC
July 2021

Colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms impairs survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2022 Jun 20;148(6):1465-1472. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

Introduction: MDRO-colonization has been shown to impair survival in patients with hematological malignancies and solid tumors as well as in patients with liver disease. Despite the increasing spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), its impact on patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been studied. We conducted this retrospective study to analyze the impact of MDRO-colonization on overall prognosis in HCC patients.

Materials And Methods: All patients with confirmed HCC diagnosed between January 2008 and December 2017 at the University Hospital Frankfurt were included in this study. HCC patients with a positive MDRO screening before or within the first 90 days after diagnosis of HCC were defined as colonized HCC patients, HCC patients with a negative MDRO screening were defined as noncolonized HCC patients.

Results: 59 (6%) colonized and 895 (94%) noncolonized HCC patients were included. Enterobacterales with extended-spectrum β-lactamase-like phenotype with or without resistance to fluoroquinolones (ESBL/ ± FQ) were the most frequently found MDRO with 59%, followed by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium with 37%. Colonized HCC patients had more severe cirrhosis and more advanced HCC stage compared to noncolonized HCC patients. Colonized HCC patients showed an impaired survival with a median OS of 189 days (6.3 months) compared to a median OS of 1001 days (33.4 months) in noncolonized HCC patients. MDRO-colonization was identified as an independent risk factor associated with survival in multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: MDRO-colonization is an independent risk factor for survival in patients with HCC highlighting the importance of regular MDRO screening, isolation measures as well as interdisciplinary antibiotic steward-ship programs to guide responsible use of antibiotic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-021-03741-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9114096PMC
June 2022

Influence of gender on cytokine induced depression and treatment: Gender aspects of IFN-α-induced depression.

J Affect Disord 2021 09 23;292:766-772. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Campus Mitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Cytokine treatment with Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) represents a clinical model of immune associated depression, but it remains unclear if it is of the same entity as major depressive disorder (MDD). The study focuses on possible gender differences in IFN-α induced depression and effects of a pre-emptive antidepressant treatment.

Methods: Data from 181 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection (cHC) without history of mental illnesses undergoing treatment with IFN-α 2a and ribavirin were re-analyzed for gender effects. Patients with a pre-emptive antidepressant therapy with Escitalopram (n = 90, verum group) to prevent IFN-induced depression were compared to patients who received placebo (n = 91). Depressive symptoms before and during HCV-treatment were assessed using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.

Results: We found significant differences regarding the incidence and severity of depressive symptoms between men and women for patients without antidepressant pre-treatment (placebo group). Significantly more women without pre-emptive antidepressant therapy suffered from clinically relevant depression (MADRS values ≥ 13, p = 0.041) and self-rated depressive symptoms (BDI ≥ 17, p = 0.024). Antidepressant pre-treatment showed comparable effects regarding the reduction of incidence and severity of depression in both women and men.

Conclusions: Compared to MDD, IFN-alpha-induced depression in patients with cHC is also characterized by gender differences with an increased risk for women but no gender difference regarding the effects of an antidepressant pre-treatment is found. Our data strengthens the hypothesis that Interferon-induced depression serves as a clinical model for immune related depressive disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.05.087DOI Listing
September 2021
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