NIDDK-funded Study Finding: Gallbladder Removal May Be a Risk Factor for NAFLD
Researchers have found that people who undergo cholecystectomy—a common surgery to remove the gallbladder—may be at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver, is a common cause of liver disease in the United States. The risk factors for NAFLD, other than weight-related conditions, were not previously well defined.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)-funded researchers conducted a review of 12,232 participants in the third U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey—a large, national, population-based study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ultrasonography for gallstone disease had been performed on all participants; subjects with viral hepatitis or significant alcohol intake were excluded from the study.
Researchers found that individuals with a history of cholecystectomy had a significantly higher prevalence of NAFLD, regardless of the length of time since surgery. Interestingly, the presence of gallstones, the usual reason for cholecystectomy, was not associated with NAFLD.
Researchers noted that the higher prevalence of NAFLD after cholecystectomy may be related to metabolic changes and alterations in bile acid transport.
NIDDK-funded Study Finding: Survivors of ALF Experience Lower Quality of Life—Particularly Acetaminophen Overdose Survivors
Adult survivors of acute liver failure (ALF) experience a reduced quality of life compared with the general population, according to an NIDDK-funded study published online in Liver Transplantation. Among the ALF survivors, those who experienced acetaminophen overdose (APAP) reported even lower quality of life scores than non-APAP survivors and people who underwent liver transplantation.
Researchers sought to characterize health-related quality of life outcomes for long-term survivors of ALF by conducting a retrospective study of 252 adult ALF survivors. Among these patients, 125 had undergone liver transplantation. A total of 157 patients, including 95 APAP and 62 non-APAP patients, were spontaneous survivors.
Researchers noted that APAP survivors may have reported the lowest quality of life scores due to higher rates of pre-morbid psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.
FDA Approves First Genotyping Test for Patients with HCV
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a test that identifies the genotype of hepatitis C virus (HCV) that a patient is carrying. The Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II, which can differentiate genotypes 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, and 5 using a sample of an infected patient’s blood plasma or serum, will aid health care professionals in determining the appropriate approach to treatment. Because the various HCV genotypes respond differently to available drug therapies, knowing the type of HCV a person is infected with can result in better patient outcomes.
The Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II is approved for individuals known to be chronically infected with HCV. It is not approved for use as a diagnostic test or as a screening test for the presence of HCV genetic material in blood, blood products, or tissue donors. The test has not been evaluated in newborns or pediatric patients, or in patients with compromised immune systems, such as people with AIDS.
New and Updated Publications
- Constipation in Children
- Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults
- What I need to know about Constipation