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Journal: Clinical and molecular hepatology

142

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease whose prevalence has reached global epidemic proportions. Although the disease is relatively benign in the early stages, when severe clinical forms, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and even hepatocellular carcinoma, occur, they result in worsening the long-term prognosis. A growing body of evidence indicates that NAFLD develops from a complex process in which many factors, including genetic susceptibility and environmental insults, are involved. In this review, we focused on the genetic component of NAFLD, with special emphasis on the role of genetics in the disease pathogenesis and natural history. Insights into the topic of the genetic susceptibility in lean individuals with NAFLD and the potential use of genetic tests in identifying individuals at risk are also discussed.

Concepts: Steatosis, Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Fatty liver, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

141

The liver plays a crucial role in coagulation cascade. Global hemostatic process is profoundly influenced by the presence of liver disease and its complications. Patients with cirrhosis have impaired synthesis of most of the factors involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis process due to a reduced liver function and altered platelet count secondary to portal hypertension. Altered routine tests and thrombocytopenia were considered in the past as associated with increased risk of bleeding. These concepts explain both the routine use of plasma and/or platelets transfusion in patients with liver cirrhosis, especially before invasive procedures, and why these patients were considered “auto-anticoagulated”. New recent evidences show that patients with liver cirrhosis have a more complex hemostatic alteration. Despite the presence of altered levels of factors involved in primary hemostasis, coagulation and fibrinolysis, patients with stable cirrhosis have a rebalanced hemostatic, which however can easily be altered by decompensation or infection, both in hemorrhagic or thrombotic direction. Patients with cirrhosis have an increased risk of venous thrombotic events (namely portal vein thrombosis) while bleeding seems to be related to the grade of portal hypertension rather than to a hemostatic imbalance. The use of anticoagulants both as treatment or prophylaxis is safe, reduces the rate of portal vein thrombosis and decompensation, and improves survival. Standard laboratory coagulation tests are unable to predict bleeding and are inadequate for the assessment of hemostatic status in these patients, hence more comprehensive tests are required to guide the management of thrombotic and bleeding complications.

Concepts: Hepatology, Hepatic portal vein, Thrombosis, Liver, Coagulation, Platelet, Blood, Hemostasis

131

Ultraselective conventional transarterial chemoembolization (cTACE), defined as cTACE at the most distal portion of the subsubsegmental hepatic artery, is mainly performed for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ≤5 cm. Distal advancement of a microcatheter enables injection of a larger volume of iodized oil into the portal vein in the limited area under non-physiological hemodynamics. As a result, the reversed portal flow into the tumor through the drainage route of the tumor that occurs when the hepatic artery is embolized is temporarily blocked. By adding gelatin sponge slurry embolization, both the hepatic artery and portal vein are embolized and not only complete necrosis of the tumor but also massive peritumoral necrosis can be achieved. Ultraselective cTACE can cure small HCCs including less hypervascular tumor portions and replace surgical resection and radiofrequency ablation in selected patients.

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Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a life-threatening condition characterized by a rapid deterioration of previously well-compensated chronic liver diseases. One of the main obstacles in ACLF is the lack of knowledge of the pathogenesis and specific broad-spectrum treatments. An excessive systemic inflammatory response has been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of ACLF; this hypothesis involves stellate cells, which are implicated in many liver homeostatic functions that include vitamin A storage, regulation of sinusoidal blood flow, local inflammation, maintenance of the hepatocyte phenotype and extracellular matrix remodeling. However, when there is damage to the liver, these cells are the main target of the inflammatory stimulus, as a result, the secretion of the extracellular matrix is altered. Activated hepatic stellate cells raise the survival of neutrophils by the stimulation of granulocytes colonies and macrophages, which exacerbates liver inflammation and promotes damage to hepatocytes. Elevation of pathogen-associated molecular patterns is related to liver damage by different pathophysiological mechanisms of decompensation, showing ballooning degeneration and cell death with a predominance of cholestatic infection. Moreover, patients with ACLF present a marked elevation of C-reactive protein together with an elevation of the leukocyte count. Chronic liver disease is a complex pathological state with a heterogeneous pathophysiology in which genetic factors of the host and external triggers interact and culminate in hepatic insufficiency. The better understanding of such interactions should lead to a better comprehension of the disease and to the discovery of new treatment targets that will make acute decompensations preventable and even decrease mortality.

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Cellulitis is a common infection in patients with liver cirrhosis. We aimed to compare risk factors, microbial aspects, and outcomes of cellulitis in compensated and decompensated hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis.

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Fatty liver is a clinical and pathologic condition in individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of different exercise modalities on non-alcoholic fatty liver indices (fatty liver index [FLI], lipid accumulation product [LAP], hepatic steatosis index [HSI], and Framingham Steatosis Index [FSI]) in women with T2D.

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A risk prediction model for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from indeterminate nodules detected on computed tomography (CT) (RadCT score) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-related cirrhosis was proposed. We validated this model for indeterminate nodules on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

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In the Republic of Korea, an estimated 231,000 individuals have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of elbasvir/grazoprevir (EBR/GZR) administered for 12 weeks in Korean patients who were enrolled in international clinical trial phase 3 studies.

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Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a standard treatment for intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but there is much controversy about TACE refractoriness. The aim of this study was to identify trends in the actual clinical application of TACE and recognition of TACE refractoriness by Korean experts.

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Despite the high efficacy of direct acting antivirals (DAAs) not all patients successfully clear hepatitis C virus infection, in fact, approximately 1-3% fail to reach a sustained virological response 12 weeks after end of treatment. DAA failures are characterized by advanced liver disease, specific genotypes/subtypes and resistance associated substitutions to the DAA class they have been treated with. Current European Association for the Study of the Liver guidelines recommend three therapeutic options for such patients. The first is a 12 week course of sofosbuvir (SOF), velpatasvir (VEL) and voxilaprevir (VOX), which has shown to be effective in 90-99% of patients and was granted A1 level recommendation. The second option, reserved for patients who have predictors of failure consists in 12 weeks regimen with glecaprevir (GLE) and pibrentasvir (PIB), effective in 90-97%. Finally, although not supported by published data, for especially difficult to treat patients there should theoretically be a benefit in prolonged combinations of SOF+GLE/PIB or SOF/VEL/VOX±ribavirin. This review presents the latest evidence from both clinical trials and real-life on such therapeutic strategies.