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1.
Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol ; 14(4): 457-464, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467264

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a ß-galactoside binding protein associated with many disease pathologies, including chronic inflammation and fibrogenesis. It has been implicated in the disease severity of NASH, although its precise role is unknown. Inhibition of Gal-3 has shown to improve and prevent fibrosis progression and has now reached phase III clinical trial in NASH patients. AREAS COVERED: This discusses the role of Gal-3 in NASH. It brings together the current findings of Gal-3 in NASH and hepatic fibrosis by analyzing recent data from animal model studies and clinical trials. EXPERT OPINION: Gal-3 inhibitors, in particular, Belapectin (GR-MD-02), have shown promising results for NASH with advanced fibrosis. In a phase 2 trial, Belapectin did not meet the primary endpoint. However, a sub-analysis of Belapectin among a separate group of patients without esophageal varices showed 2 mg/kg of GR-MD-02 reduced HVPG and the development of new varices. A subsequent study is under way, aiming to replicate the positive findings in phase 2 and demonstrate greater efficacy. If Belapectin is shown to be effective, it will be coupled with other drugs that target steatohepatitis to maximize efficacy and disease reversal.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Galectins/antagonists & inhibitors , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Progression , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/metabolism , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/physiopathology , Pectins/administration & dosage , Pectins/pharmacology , Severity of Illness Index
2.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(19): e25497, 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262269

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients frequently develop liver biochemical abnormality. However, liver biochemical abnormality in COVID-19 patients with liver cirrhosis is under-recognized.Patients hospitalized during COVID-19 pandemic in China (ie, from February to April 2020) were screened. All of 17 COVID-19 patients with liver cirrhosis consecutively admitted to the Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital were identified. Meanwhile, 17 age-, sex-, and severity-matched COVID-19 patients without liver cirrhosis admitted to this hospital were selected as a control group; all of 14 cirrhotic patients without COVID-19 consecutively admitted to the Department of Gastroenterology of the General Hospital of Northern Theater Command were selected as another control group. Incidence of liver biochemical abnormality and decompensated events were primarily compared.Among the COVID-19 patients with liver cirrhosis, the incidence of liver biochemical abnormality at admission and during hospitalization were 76.50% and 84.60%, respectively; 7 (41.20%) had decompensated events at admission; 1 was transferred to intensive care unit due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Among the COVID-19 patients without liver cirrhosis, the incidence of liver biochemical abnormality at admission and during hospitalization were 58.80% (P = .271) and 60.00% (P = .150), respectively. Among the cirrhotic patients without COVID-19, the incidence of liver biochemical abnormality at admission and during hospitalization were 69.20% (P = .657) and 81.80% (P = .855), respectively; 11 (78.60%) had decompensated events at admission (P = .036). None died during hospitalization among the three groups.Liver biochemical abnormality is common in COVID-19 patients with liver cirrhosis. Management of decompensated events in cirrhotic patients without COVID-19 should not be neglected during COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Liver Cirrhosis/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Liver Function Tests , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , China , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
3.
J Intensive Care Med ; 36(5): 511-523, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1029763

ABSTRACT

Point-of-Care (POC) transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is transforming the management of patients with cirrhosis presenting with septic shock, acute kidney injury, hepatorenal syndrome and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) by correctly assessing the hemodynamic and volume status at the bedside using combined echocardiography and POC ultrasound (POCUS). When POC TTE is performed by the hepatologist or intensivist in the intensive care unit (ICU), and interpreted remotely by a cardiologist, it can rule out cardiovascular conditions that may be contributing to undifferentiated shock, such as diastolic dysfunction, myocardial infarction, myocarditis, regional wall motion abnormalities and pulmonary embolism. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a delay in seeking medical treatment, reduced invasive interventions and deferment in referrals leading to "collateral damage" in critically ill patients with liver disease. Thus, the use of telemedicine in the ICU (Tele-ICU) has integrated cardiology, intensive care, and hepatology practices across the spectrum of ICU, operating room, and transplant healthcare. Telecardiology tools have improved bedside diagnosis when introduced as part of COVID-19 care by remote supervision and interpretation of POCUS and echocardiographic data. In this review, we present the contemporary approach of using POC echocardiography and offer a practical guide for primary care hepatologists and gastroenterologists for cardiac assessment in critically ill patients with cirrhosis and ACLF. Evidenced based use of Tele-ICU can prevent delay in cardiac diagnosis, optimize safe use of expert resources and ensure timely care in the setting of critically ill cirrhosis, ACLF and liver transplantation in the COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure , COVID-19 , Critical Care , Echocardiography/methods , Liver Cirrhosis , Point-of-Care Systems , Remote Consultation , Shock , Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure/etiology , Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure/physiopathology , Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cardiology/trends , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/organization & administration , Critical Illness/therapy , Delayed Diagnosis/prevention & control , Hemodynamic Monitoring/instrumentation , Hemodynamic Monitoring/methods , Humans , Infection Control , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Liver Cirrhosis/therapy , Organizational Innovation , Remote Consultation/instrumentation , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Shock/diagnosis , Shock/etiology , Shock/therapy
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 24(23): 12609-12622, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995022

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In human pathology, SARS-CoV-2 utilizes multiple molecular pathways to determine structural and biochemical changes within the different organs and cell types. The clinical picture of patients with COVID-19 is characterized by a very large spectrum. The reason for this variability has not been clarified yet, causing the inability to make a prognosis on the evolution of the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: PubMed search was performed focusing on the role of ACE 2 receptors in allowing the viral entry into cells, the role of ACE 2 downregulation in triggering the tissue pathology or in accelerating previous disease states, the role of increased levels of Angiotensin II in determining endothelial dysfunction and the enhanced vascular permeability, the role of the dysregulation of the renin angiotensin system in COVID-19 and the role of cytokine storm. RESULTS: The pathological changes induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in the different organs, the correlations between the single cell types targeted by the virus in the different human organs and the clinical consequences, COVID-19 chronic pathologies in liver fibrosis, cardiac fibrosis and atrial arrhythmias, glomerulosclerosis and pulmonary fibrosis, due to the systemic fibroblast activation induced by angiotensin II are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The main pathways involved showed different pathological changes in multiple tissues and the different clinical presentations. Even if ACE2 is the main receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and the main entry point into cells for the virus, ACE2 expression does not always explain the observed marked inter-individual variability in clinical presentation and outcome, evidencing the complexity of this disorder. The proper interpretation of the growing data available might allow to better classifying COVID-19 in human pathology.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Liver Cirrhosis/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Angiotensin I/metabolism , Atrial Fibrillation/metabolism , Atrial Fibrillation/physiopathology , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Capillary Permeability , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Cardiomyopathies/physiopathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/physiopathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibroblasts/pathology , Fibrosis , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/pathology , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/physiopathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Virus Internalization
5.
Rev Gastroenterol Mex (Engl Ed) ; 85(3): 303-311, 2020.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610946

ABSTRACT

The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is responsible for the infectious disease caused by coronavirus 19 (COVID-19). The current pandemic is growing worldwide and could affect 50-60% of the world population in the months to come. The most severe disease manifestations are atypical pneumonia and sepsis, but the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the liver, has recently been reported to be affected by SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to review the literature available on the topic and provide information about COVID-19, in both healthy and diseased livers, and issue recommendations. The incidence of liver injury specifically associated with COVID-19 varies from 14.8-53%. The majority of case series have reported altered ALT and AST, elevated total bilirubin, and low serum albumin and liver compromise has been associated with the most severe cases of COVID-19. Cirrhosis of the liver has a recognized immune dysfunction status that includes immunodeficiency and systemic inflammation, making it reasonable for those patients to be more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The recommendations for those patients, in addition to the general measures of physical distancing and handwashing for all persons, include social, medical, and psychologic support during the period of home quarantine to prevent lapses in treatment. Patients should be made aware that they need to keep abreast of changes in recommendations and social policies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Liver Cirrhosis/therapy , Liver Diseases/etiology , Liver Diseases/physiopathology , Liver/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Incidence , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Liver Diseases/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy
7.
J Hepatol ; 73(5): 1063-1071, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591707

ABSTRACT

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 1st and 31th 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.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Liver Cirrhosis , Liver Function Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis/diagnosis , Liver Cirrhosis/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Liver Function Tests/methods , Liver Function Tests/statistics & numerical data , Male , Mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
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