Accidental transmission of HCV and treatment with interferon.
Takagi H. Uehara M. Kakizaki S. Takahashi H. Takezawa J. Kabeya K. Satoh K. Kojima A. Saito S. Matsumoto T. Hashimoto Y. Abe T. Yamada T. Konaka K. Shimoda R. Takayama H. Takehara K. Nagamine T. Mori M.
The First Department of Internal Medicine, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Accidental transmission of contagious pathogens, especially hepatitis C virus (HCV), by needlestick or other means as an occupational hazard for medical staff is of concern. We retrospectively analysed cases of work-related accidental injury with pathogens such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), HCV, syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reported to the centres for disease control at 15 hospitals (total 5776 beds) in the Gunma prefecture, Japan, from December 1990 to August 1993 (24.7 months). There were 416 such cases (16.8 cases/month), with an incidence of 0.2-3.5 accidents per month per hospital. Such accidents occurred in 297 (71.2%) nurses, 98 (23.5%) medical doctors, 13 (3%) laboratory technicians, four (1.0%) hospital maintenance workers, one (0.2%) assistant nurse, one secretary and two others. There were 323 (77.6%) injuries caused by needlestick, 42 (10.1%) from suture needles or surgical knife cuts, 17 (4.1%) from blood splatters from patients into the eyes or mouth, 10 (2.4%) from contact with injured skin and 24 (5.8%) simple skin contacts. Of the pathogens, 60.3% were HCV, 22.6% HBV, 5.8% syphilis, 0.7% HIV and 10.6% were of unknown origin. Four cases (1.6%) of HCV infection were found and treated with one or two courses of interferon therapy, and HCV was subsequently cleared. All four patients were cured with interferon therapy. None of the HBV-injured cases resulted in infection, possibly because of prophylaxis with HB immunoglobulin and HB vaccine. No HIV or syphilis infection was contracted. In summary, chronic HCV infection acquired as an occupational hazard can be cured by appropriate treatment, such as with interferon, after early detection of the infection.
Preliminary report of a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a Chinese herbal medicine preparation CH-100 in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
Batey RG. Bensoussan A. Fan YY. Bollipo S. Hossain MA.
Department of Gastroenterology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. RBatey@doh.health.nsw.gov.au
The treatment of chronic hepatitis C is relatively unsatisfactory and many patients have turned to unproven alternative medicines to modify the course of their illness. We report a study of a Chinese herbal medicine preparation CH-100 in the management of chronic hepatitis C. Patients with documented chronic hepatitis C were randomly allocated to receive active herbal or placebo tablets (five tablets thrice daily). Patients were followed monthly and evaluated by a Western and a traditional Chinese medical practitioner. Therapy was monitored by measurement of liver function tests, creatinine and full blood count on a monthly basis. Twenty patients in each group were well matched for age, sex, duration of illness, previous interferon therapy and alcohol intake. Active Chinese herbal medication was associated with a significant reduction in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels over the 6 month study period (P < 0.03). No patient cleared the virus but four normalized their ALT on treatment. Appropriately prescribed Chinese herbal medicine may have a role in the management of chronic hepatitis C and further controlled studies are indicated.
Cryoglobulinaemia among maintenance haemodialysis patients and its relation to hepatitis C infection.
Okuda K. Yokosuka O. Otake Y. Hayashi H. Yokozeki K. Kashima T. Kobayashi S. Sakuma K. Ohni T. Irie Y.
Department of Medicine, Chiba University Hospital, Japan.
It has been shown that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is closely associated with mixed type cryoglobulinaemia. It is also known that HCV infection is rampant among chronic haemodialysis patients. We studied 531 renal failure patients on maintenance dialysis including 170 with positive HCV antibodies for cryoglobulinaemia, and its incidence was compared with controls which consisted of 242 chronic hepatitis C patients without renal failure and 183 healthy adults. Cryoglobulinaemia was present in 30.6% of dialysis patients with HCV infection, 10.8% of dialysis patients without HCV infection, 29.8% of patients with chronic hepatitis C without renal failure, and 0% of healthy adults. Among the 30 new renal failure patients who were started on dialysis within 6 months, four were positive for HCV antibodies, and one of them had cryoglobulinaemia; of the 26 HCV-negative patients, four (15%) were cryoglobulinaemic. The cryocrit values among dialysis patients were much lower than those of the control cases and other reports on non-dialysis cases. Patients with cryoglobulinaemia were generally younger compared with patients negative for this condition. There was no correlation between cryoglobulinaemia and past blood transfusion, underlying disease or length of dialysis. Cryoglobulinaemic patients seem to develop renal failure at relatively young ages and a considerable proportion of cryoglobulinaemic dialysis patients may have already had cryoglobulinaemia at the time of the start of haemodialysis. There was no indication that the presence of cryoglobulin in serum adversely affects the liver disease nor increases serum virus load in HCV-infected dialysis patients. Thus, it was concluded that although HCV infection has a certain role in the development of cryoglobulinaemia in dialysis patients, they develop cryoglobulinaemia less frequently and produce cryoglobulin to a lesser degree in the presence of HCV infection as compared with non-dialysis patients.
High prevalence of hepatitis G virus infection in multiply transfused children with thalassaemia.
Poovorawan Y. Theamboonlers A. Chongsrisawat V. Seksarn P. Jarvis L. Simmonds P.
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University and Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
We investigated the prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA in relation to the frequency of blood transfusions in thalassaemic children and in volunteer blood donors in Thailand. Furthermore, we studied the frequency of coinfection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) as well as a possible relationship to the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) status of the blood samples, taken at random from thalassaemic children who have received multiple blood transfusions and from volunteer blood donors. The results show detectable HGV-RNA in 32.6% of transfusion patients and in 5% of blood donors. The prevalence of HGV-RNA peaked between the 11th and 50th transfusion. The relationship between HGV infection and ALT status was not statistically relevant.
Autoantibodies against a 210 kDa glycoprotein of the nuclear pore complex as a prognostic marker in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.
Itoh S. Ichida T. Yoshida T. Hayakawa A. Uchida M. Tashiro-Itoh T. Matsuda Y. Ishihara K. Asakura H.
Third Department of Internal Medicine, Niigata University School of Medicine, Niigata City, Japan.
It has been reported that the presence of anti-nuclear antibody against a 210 kDa glycoprotein of nuclear pore complex (anti-gp210) is highly specific for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). The aim of the present study was to investigate the significance of anti-gp210, especially as a prognostic marker. The presence of anti-gp210 was ascertained in 113 patients with PBC and 162 controls by indirect immunofluorescence assay using HepG2 cells and immunoblotting analysis using nuclear extracts from HeLa cells. Anti-gp210 was detected in 25 of the 113 (22.1%) patients. None of the 162 controls was positive for anti-gp210. The appearance and titre of anti-gp210 in the patients with PBC did not vary from the time of diagnosis and through their clinical course. Anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA), including antibodies against pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, branched chain alpha-ketoacid dehydrogenase complex and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, were not detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in five of the 113 (4.4%) patients with PBC. However, anti-gp210 alone was positive in one of these five patients. The difference in prognosis was statistically significant; patients with PBC positive for anti-gp210 died from hepatic failure more frequently than those who were negative (P < 0.01), although there were no statistically significant differences in the frequency of jaundice and the histological stage at the time of diagnosis between the two groups. We suggest that the presence of anti-gp210 is one of the independent prognostic markers able to predict, at the time of diagnosis, a poor outcome in patients with PBC.
Ki-67 expression as a prognostic marker in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
King KL. Hwang JJ. Chau GY. Tsay SH. Chi CW. Lee TG. Wu LH. Wu CW. Lui WY.
Department of Surgery, Veterans General Hospital-Taipei and National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, Republic of China. KLKing@vghtpe.gov.tw
Ki-67 expression in tumours has been shown to be associated with prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, primary HCC samples were obtained from 67 patients undergoing surgical resection. None of these patients had been subjected previously to any other form of therapy, such as arterial embolization or chemotherapy. Histologically normal liver tissues from liver resection for metastatic colon cancer were taken as controls (n = 8). Monoclonal antibody against Ki-67 was used for immunostaining and flow cytometry was used to measure tumour DNA ploidy. The mean Ki-67 labelling index (percentage of Ki-67-positive cells) of the HCC (26 +/- 22%; range 0.1-89%) was significantly higher than that of the normal controls (39 +/- 0.8%, P < 0.05). The mean Ki-67 labelling index (19 +/- 15%; n = 28) of the tumours with diploid DNA pattern was significantly lower than those with aneuploid DNA pattern (32 +/- 25%, n = 39; P = 0.01). Hepatocellular carcinoma patients (n = 47) with Ki-67 index > 10% had a significantly lower disease-free and overall survival than those (n = 20) with Ki-67 index < or = 10% (P = 0.0009 and P = 0.02, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that Ki-67 expression and tumour node metastasis stage were two independent prognostic factors for disease-free and overall survival rates. Our results suggest that the expression of Ki-67 is an independent prognostic indicator for patients with HCC after resection and could be of assistance in the decision-making of adjuvant therapy.
Economic evaluation of Helicobacter pylori eradication for the treatment of duodenal ulcer disease in Japan: a decision analysis to assess eradication strategy in comparison with a conventional strategy.
Habu Y. Inokuchi H. Kiyota K. Hayashi K. Watanabe Y. Kawai K. Stalhammar NO.
Department of Gastroenterology, Saiseikai Noe Hospital, Osaka, Japan.
To evaluate the socio-economic effects of Helicobacter pylori eradication in the treatment of duodenal ulcer disease in Japan, a clinical decision analysis was performed to assess H. pylori eradication therapy compared with the conventional strategy of maintenance with histamine-2 receptor antagonists. A decision tree-based state transition model (Markov chain approach) implemented to simulate a 5 year period of follow up was constructed. The H. pylori eradication strategy was found to be superior to the conventional maintenance strategy with regard to clinical effectiveness and other dimensions of a patient's outcome. Furthermore, in a long-term perspective, the eradication strategy was less costly than the maintenance strategy. Helicobacter pylori eradication should be recommended as the first choice treatment of H. pylori-positive duodenal ulcer patients. The clinical implication of H. pylori eradication entails an improvement in clinical effectiveness and other dimensions of a patient's outcome and a significant reduction in the costs of duodenal ulcer treatment. The long-term total costs do not depend on the initial drug cost of an eradication regimen. Pursuing a high eradication rate of H. pylori is essential in improving the patient's outcome and the cost-effectiveness of treatment.
Augmented levels of gastric mucosal leucocyte activation by infection with cagA gene-positive Helicobacter pylori.
Suzuki H. Suzuki M. Mori M. Kitahora T. Yokoyama H. Miura S. Hibi T. Ishii H.
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.
The possession of the cytotoxin-associated gene (cagA) of Helicobacter pylori is thought to be highly associated with peptic ulcer disease. However, the pathogenic role of cagA is still unknown. We have emphasized the importance of the interrelationship between H. pylori-derived ammonia and oxygen radicals from infiltrated leucocytes. The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between oxygen radical production and H. pylori strain diversity based on cagA possession. An endoscopic examination and gastric mucosal biopsy were performed in 30 H. pylori-infected patients with gastric ulcer. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) content and the luminol-dependent chemiluminescence value in the biopsied gastric specimens were measured as an index for leucocyte infiltration and oxygen radical production. From the precipitates of cultured bacterial isolates of biopsied specimens, bacterial DNA was purified and analysed by polymerase chain reaction to characterize the possession of cagA. While all patients had ureC-positive strains, 22 had cagA-positive and eight had cagA-negative strains. In patients with cagA-positive strains, MPO contents as well as chemiluminescence values in the gastric corpus were significantly higher than those in patients with cagA-negative strains. Gastric mucosal leucocyte recruitment and activation are suggested to be enhanced by cagA gene-positive H. pylori infection.
A prospective randomized study of amoxycillin and omeprazole with and without metronidazole in the eradication treatment of Helicobacter pylori.
Koizumi W. Tanabe S. Hibi K. Imaizumi H. Ohida M. Okabe H. Saigenji K. Okayasu I.
Department of Gastroenterology, East Hospital, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa-ken, Japan.
A combination of amoxycillin and omeprazole is often used to treat Helicobacter pylori infection. A three-drug regimen comprising metronidazole, amoxycillin and omeprazole has been proposed as an alternative therapy. In a prospective, randomized, comparative study, we evaluated these two regimens with respect to safety and efficacy in patients with H. pylori infection. Sixty patients with peptic ulcer (gastric, 32 patients; duodenal, 28 patients) who had a history of ulcer recurrence were randomly assigned to dual therapy with amoxycillin (500 mg three times daily for 2 weeks) and omeprazole (20 mg once daily for 8 weeks) or to triple therapy with metronidazole (500 mg twice daily for 2 weeks) plus amoxycillin and omeprazole, given in the same dosages as dual therapy. Forty-eight patients completed the protocol; treatment was discontinued because of side effects in nine patients, and three patients dropped out of the study. On the basis of all patients treated, the rate of H. pylori eradication was significantly higher for triple therapy 20/23 cases, 87.0%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.664-0.972) than for dual therapy 13/25, 52.0%; 0.313-0.722; P < 0.05). On an intention-to-treat basis, the difference between the groups in the rate of H. pylori eradication was marginally significant (P = 0.06 [0.028-0.512]). Side effects were reported by five patients receiving triple therapy (skin rash, one; nausea, two; headache, one; abdominal pain, one), and four patients receiving dual therapy (skin rash, two; abdominal pain, one; diarrhoea, one). All side effects resolved spontaneously after termination of treatment. There was no significant difference in safety between the two regimens. Triple therapy with metronidazole, amoxycillin, and omeprazole was significantly more effective for the eradication of H. pylori than dual therapy with amoxycillin and omeprazole alone. The safety of these regimens was similar, and triple therapy was found to be clinically acceptable.
Overexpression of mutant p53 and c-erbB-2 proteins and mutations of the p15 and p16 genes in human gastric carcinoma: with respect to histological subtypes and stages.
Wu MS. Shun CT. Sheu JC. Wang HP. Wang JT. Lee WJ. Chen CJ. Wang TH. Lin JT.
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei.
Although the mechanism remains obscure, two histological subtypes of gastric carcinoma (GC), the diffuse and intestinal types, differ drastically in epidemiological, clinical, pathological and biological characteristics. We investigated whether the genetic alterations of several oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes could be correlated with the two histological subtypes. In 60 patients with GC, the overexpression of mutant p53 and c-erbB-2 oncoproteins was studied using immunohistochemical stains. Mutations of the p15 and p16 tumour suppressor genes were assessed by polymerase chain reaction, Southern blotting, and direct DNA sequencing. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 and p53 was found in 21 (35.0%) and 27 (45.0%) patients, respectively. Overexpression of the c-erbB-2 oncoprotein was more common in the intestinal type (15/32, 46.9%) and the advanced stage (19/45, 42.2%) than in the diffuse type (6/28, 21.4%) and the early stage (2/15, 13.3%) of GC (P
Case report: Metachronous early gastric carcinoma in a reconstructed gastric tube after radical operation for oesophageal carcinoma.
Koyanagi K. Ozawa S. Ando N. Shih CH. Nakamura E. Takeuchi H. Hayashi K. Kitajima M.
Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.
The incidence of double cancer has increased as a result of the significant advances in both diagnostic procedures and anti-cancer therapy, and as the outcome of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) has improved, the number of cases of double cancer of the oesophagus and stomach has also increased. Two patients with metachronous early gastric carcinoma in a reconstructed gastric tube were successfully treated after subtotal oesophagectomy for ESCC. These cases have shown that early diagnosis of second cancer is very important for curative therapy.
Familial occurrence of congenital bile duct cysts.
Iwata F. Uchida A. Miyaki T. Aoki S. Fujioka T. Yamada J. Joh T. Itoh M.
Department of Internal Medicine, Kosai General Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan.
Congenital bile duct cysts are now a well-documented anomaly of the biliary tree, and have become more common in Japan. Familial occurrence of congenital bile duct cysts, however, is extremely rare, with only six reported cases in the literature. We report a familial pattern of congenital bile duct cysts in a mother and her daughter. A 33-year-old female was admitted for evaluation of right upper quadrant abdominal pain and fever 6 days after an uneventful delivery of her second child. A computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound scan (US) revealed an obstructed biliary tract. Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage was then performed, and a cholangiogram revealed a Scholtz type B choledochocele without an anomalous connection of the pancreaticobiliary ducts. Endoscopic US demonstrated that the choledochocele was associated with a stone in the cyst. A pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenal resection was performed, and a histological study revealed that the choledochocele was lined by biliary mucosa without evidence of malignancy. The newborn infant had an abdominal tumour. An US and CT revealed a congenital bile duct cyst. An operation was performed and the intraoperative cholangiogram showed an Alonso-Lej type I congenital bile duct cyst with an anomalous connection of the pancreaticobiliary ducts. Whether congenital bile duct cysts are hereditary remains to be elucidated.
Dieulafoys disease treated by endoscopic haemostatic clipping.
Teo EK. Fock KM.
Department of Medicine, New Changi Hospital 2, Singapore.
Dieulafoy's disease is an uncommon cause of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage. We report three patients with Dieulafoy's disease treated with the endoscopic haemostatic clip application. There was no recurrent bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract after application of the clips in all three patients. Two patients survived while the third succumbed to renal failure after hypovolaemic shock. We conclude that endoscopic haemostatic clip may have a role in the treatment of Dieulafoy's disease.
The influence of iron on chronic hepatitis C.
Burt MJ. Cooksley WG.
Department of Medicine, The Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.
It has recently been suggested that the hepatic iron concentration can be used to predict the response to interferon in patients with chronic hepatitis C. An hepatic iron concentration greater than 1100 microg/g appears to identify a group of patients that are unlikely to respond to alpha-interferon. It is not known whether this relationship can be explained by associated variables such as age, gender or disease severity or whether the hepatic iron concentration itself influences the response to interferon. Furthermore, the hepatic iron concentration is of no value in discriminating responders from non-responders in patients with hepatic iron concentrations less than 1100 microg/g. The possibility of improving response rates to interferon by pretreatment venesection needs to be explored but currently only limited data are available. Venesection results in a significant fall in the serum transaminases but the preliminary results regarding the efficacy of subsequent interferon therapy are unclear. Until the results of prospective controlled trials are available it is concluded that the available evidence does not support venesection before interferon therapy for chronic hepatitis C.