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1.
World J Gastroenterol ; 27(44): 7734-7738, 2021 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573671

ABSTRACT

The recent manuscript reviewed investigations involving liver damage in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, and COVID-19 in patients with previous chronic hepatological diseases, such as patients with liver graft. The literature presents several conflicting results concerning the anti-SARS-CoV-2 response in patients with solid organ transplants, in liver transplant recipients. Therefore, we would like to humbly state a few points for consideration involving liver transplant recipients and COVID-19, such as the time since transplantation, comorbidities, and immunosuppressive regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Organ Transplantation , Humans , Liver Transplantation/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
2.
Transplant Proc ; 53(4): 1126-1131, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525970

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 drastically impacted solid organ transplantation. Lacking scientific evidence, a very stringent but safer policy was imposed on liver transplantation (LT) early in the pandemic. Restrictive transplant guidelines must be reevaluated and adjusted as data become available. Before LT, the prevailing policy requires a negative severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of donors and recipients. Unfortunately, prolonged viral RNA shedding frequently hinders transplantation. Recent data reveal that positive test results for viral genome are frequently due to noninfectious and prolonged convalescent shedding of viral genome. Moreover, studies demonstrated that the cycle threshold of quantitative RT-PCR could be leveraged to inform clinical transplant decision-making. We present an evidence-adjusted and significantly less restrictive policy for LT, where risk tolerance is tiered to recipient acuity. In addition, we delineate the pretransplant clinical decision-making, intra- and postoperative management, and early outcome of 2 recipients of a liver graft performed while their RT-PCR of airway swabs remained positive. Convalescent positive RT-PCR results are common in the transplant arena, and the proposed policy permits reasonably safe LT in many circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Policy , Liver Transplantation/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Female , Humans , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Infection Control/methods , Liver Transplantation/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , Postoperative Complications/virology , Preoperative Care/legislation & jurisprudence , Preoperative Care/methods , Reference Values , Tissue Donors , Virus Shedding
4.
Liver Transpl ; 27(10): 1479-1489, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487507

ABSTRACT

Cirrhosis has a significant and growing impact on public health and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). The increasing burden of cirrhosis has led to an emphasis on the quality of care with the goal of improving overall outcomes in this high-risk population. Existing evidence has shown the significant gaps in quality across process measures (eg, hepatocellular carcinoma screening), highlighting the need for consistent measurement and interventions to address the gaps in quality care. This multistep process forms the quality continuum, and it depends on clearly defined process measures, real-time quality measurement, and generalizable evaluative methods. Herein we review the current state of quality care in cirrhosis across the continuum with a focus on process measurement methodologies, developments in PRO evaluation on quality assessment, practical examples of quality improvement initiatives, and the recent emphasis placed on the value of primary prevention.


Subject(s)
Liver Transplantation , Quality Improvement , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/diagnosis , Liver Cirrhosis/therapy , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Quality of Health Care
8.
J Hepatol ; 75(2): 435-438, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454287

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Two SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines were approved to prevent COVID-19 infection, with reported vaccine efficacy of 95%. Liver transplant (LT) recipients are at risk of lower vaccine immunogenicity and were not included in the registration trials. We assessed vaccine immunogenicity and safety in this special population. METHODS: LT recipients followed at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and healthy volunteers were tested for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies directed against the Spike-protein (S) and Nucleocapsid-protein (N) 10-20 days after receiving the second Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose. Information regarding vaccine side effects and clinical data was collected from patients and medical records. RESULTS: Eighty LT recipients were enrolled. Mean age was 60 years and 30% were female. Twenty-five healthy volunteer controls were younger (mean age 52.7 years, p = 0.013) and mostly female (68%, p = 0.002). All participants were negative for IgG N-protein serology, indicating immunity did not result from prior COVID-19 infection. All controls were positive for IgG S-protein serology. Immunogenicity among LT recipients was significantly lower with positive serology in only 47.5% (p <0.001). Antibody titer was also significantly lower in this group (mean 95.41 AU/ml vs. 200.5 AU/ml in controls, p <0.001). Predictors for negative response among LT recipients were older age, lower estimated glomerular filtration rate, and treatment with high dose steroids and mycophenolate mofetil. No serious adverse events were reported in either group. CONCLUSION: LT recipients developed substantially lower immunological response to the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccine. Factors influencing serological antibody responses include age, renal function and immunosuppressive medications. The findings require re-evaluation of vaccine regimens in this population. LAY SUMMARY: The Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine elicited substantially inferior immunity in liver transplant recipients. Less than half of the patients developed sufficient levels of antibodies against the virus, and in those who were positive, average antibody levels were 2x less compared to healthy controls. Factors predicting non-response were older age, renal function and immunosuppressive medications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Liver Transplantation/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Kidney Function Tests , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Serologic Tests/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccination/methods
10.
J Neurovirol ; 27(5): 797-801, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432669

ABSTRACT

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an ascending demyelinating polyneuropathy often associated with recent infection. Miller Fisher syndrome represents a variant with predominant facial and cranial nerve involvement, although Miller Fisher and Guillain-Barré overlap syndromes can occur. Guillain-Barré spectrum syndromes have been thought to be rare among solid organ transplant recipients. We describe an immunocompromised patient with a liver transplant who presented with ophthalmoplegia and bulbar deficits. His symptoms rapidly progressed to a state of descending paralysis involving the diaphragm; he then developed acute respiratory failure and eventually developed quadriparesis. Electromyography and a nerve conduction study demonstrated a severe sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy consistent with Miller Fisher variant Guillain-Barré syndrome. Despite several negative nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction, a serology for SARS-CoV-2 IgG was positive. He was diagnosed with Miller Fisher-Guillain-Barré overlap syndrome with rapid recovery following treatment with plasma exchange. Although Guillain-Barré is a rare complication in solid organ transplant recipients, this case highlights the importance of rapid diagnosis and treatment of neurologic complications in transplant patients. Furthermore, it demonstrates a possible case of neurological complications from COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/immunology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/virology , Miller Fisher Syndrome/immunology , Miller Fisher Syndrome/virology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/therapy , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Liver Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged , Miller Fisher Syndrome/therapy , Plasmapheresis , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
11.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(9)2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430179

ABSTRACT

Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a serious complication of chronic liver disease, characterised by portal hypertension and arterial hypoxaemia due to intrapulmonary vascular dilatation. We report an unusual case in which a 27-year-old man had a first presentation of portal hypertension and cirrhosis complicated by HPS. This patient presented with progressive dyspnoea on exertion and deterioration in mobility, with a type 1 respiratory failure and increased oxygen demand. A bubble echocardiogram showed a possible right-to-left shunt, CT aortogram displayed evidence of portal hypertension and cirrhosis, and liver biopsy findings were consistent with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The patient's increased oxygen demand was subsequently treated with continuous positive airway pressure before he was discharged with 8 L home oxygen. With no current established medical therapy for HPS, the patient was assessed for liver transplantation and a decision was made in favour of this.


Subject(s)
Hepatopulmonary Syndrome , Hypertension, Portal , Liver Transplantation , Adult , Hepatopulmonary Syndrome/complications , Hepatopulmonary Syndrome/diagnosis , Humans , Hypertension, Portal/complications , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , Male
13.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e19232, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Using technology to reduce the pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales is a key government target, and the NHS Long-Term Plan outlines a strategy for digitally enabled outpatient care to become mainstream by 2024. In 2020, the COVID-19 response saw the widespread introduction of remote consultations for patient follow-up, regardless of individual preferences. Despite this rapid change, there may be enduring barriers to the effective implementation of remote appointments into routine practice once the unique drivers for change during the COVID-19 pandemic no longer apply, to which pre-COVID implementation studies can offer important insights. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of using real-time remote consultations between patients and secondary care physicians for routine patient follow-up at a large hospital in the United Kingdom and to assess whether patient satisfaction differs between intervention and usual care patients. METHODS: Clinically stable liver transplant patients were randomized to real-time remote consultations in which their hospital physician used secure videoconferencing software (intervention) or standard face-to-face appointments (usual care). Participants were asked to complete postappointment questionnaires over 12 months. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis. The primary outcome was the difference in scores between baseline and study end by patient group for the three domains of patient satisfaction (assessed using the Visit-Specific Satisfaction Instrument). An embedded qualitative process evaluation used interviews to assess patient and staff experiences. RESULTS: Of the 54 patients who were randomized, 29 (54%) received remote consultations, and 25 (46%) received usual care (recruitment rate: 54/203, 26.6%). The crossover between study arms was high (13/29, 45%). A total of 129 appointments were completed, with 63.6% (82/129) of the questionnaires being returned. Patient satisfaction at 12 months increased in both the intervention (25 points) and usual care (14 points) groups. The within-group analysis showed that the increases were significant for both intervention (P<.001) and usual care (P=.02) patients; however, the between-group difference was not significant after controlling for baseline scores (P=.10). The qualitative process evaluation showed that-according to patients-remote consultations saved time and money, were less burdensome, and caused fewer negative impacts on health. Technical problems with the software were common, and only 17% (5/29) of patients received all appointments over video. Both consultants and patients saw remote consultations as positive and beneficial. CONCLUSIONS: Using technology to conduct routine follow-up appointments remotely may ease some of the resource and infrastructure challenges faced by the UK NHS and free up clinic space for patients who must be seen face-to-face. Our findings regarding the advantages and challenges of using remote consultations for routine follow-ups of liver transplant patients have important implications for service organization and delivery in the postpandemic NHS. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Registry 14093266; https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN14093266. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1186/s13063-018-2953-4.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Remote Consultation , Feasibility Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
17.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(8)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376467

ABSTRACT

Since identified in December 2019, COVID-19 has remained a pandemic across the globe. Although primarily a respiratory illness, the impact of COVID-19 on other end organs has been increasingly identified. The effect of COVID-19 on the liver has yet to be completely understood. We describe a case of COVID-19 leading to end-stage cholangiopathy and deceased donor liver transplantation (LT). A 64-year-old man with no underlying respiratory or liver disease presented with acute respiratory distress secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia requiring intubation. Several months after resolution of his respiratory symptoms, he developed transaminitis, worsening jaundice, abdominal pain and dark-coloured urine. Hepatic function remained severely impaired warranting LT 259 days following his initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Explant pathology demonstrated diffuse hepatic injury, onion skinning of the bile ducts and bile duct loss in scattered portal tracts. As more patients develop COVID-19-related complications, we suggest LT as an option for COVID-19-related end-stage liver disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cholangitis, Sclerosing , Liver Transplantation , COVID-19 Testing , Cholangitis, Sclerosing/complications , Cholangitis, Sclerosing/surgery , Humans , Living Donors , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Transplant Proc ; 53(8): 2490-2494, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376110

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has ushered in an era of hesitation in performing transplants in affected patients. This stems from the paucity of data regarding the testing modalities, long-term implications, and uncertain prognosis in this group of patients. Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control recommends assessing symptoms rather than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positivity. In light of these recommendations, we describe a case of an orthotopic liver transplant in a patient infected with COVID-19 with persistent PCR positivity for 40 days before retransplant. The patient's perioperative and postoperative course was uncomplicated. Our experience leads us to advocate for liver transplants in patients who are PCR positive for COVID-19 after careful individualized and multidisciplinary evaluation regarding their liver disease and COVID-19 symptomatology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction
19.
Hepatology ; 74(2): 1049-1064, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372725

ABSTRACT

The aim of this document is to provide a concise scientific review of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines and those in development, including mRNA, adenoviral vectors, and recombinant protein approaches. The anticipated use of COVID-19 vaccines in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) and liver transplant (LT) recipients is reviewed and practical guidance is provided for health care providers involved in the care of patients with liver disease and LT about vaccine prioritization and administration. The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are associated with a 94%-95% vaccine efficacy compared to placebo against COVID-19. Local site reactions of pain and tenderness were reported in 70%-90% of clinical trial participants, and systemic reactions of fever and fatigue were reported in 40%-70% of participants, but these reactions were generally mild and self-limited and occurred more frequently in younger persons. Severe hypersensitivity reactions related to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are rare and more commonly observed in women and persons with a history of previous drug reactions for unclear reasons. Because patients with advanced liver disease and immunosuppressed patients were excluded from the vaccine licensing trials, additional data regarding the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines are eagerly awaited in these and other subgroups. Remarkably safe and highly effective mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are now available for widespread use and should be given to all adult patients with CLD and LT recipients. The online companion document located at https://www.aasld.org/about-aasld/covid-19-resources will be updated as additional data become available regarding the safety and efficacy of other COVID-19 vaccines in development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Liver Diseases , Liver Transplantation , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Consensus , Humans , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , United States
20.
Pediatr Transplant ; 25(8): e14121, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371838

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Young adults who underwent liver transplantation in childhood (YALTs) are highly vulnerable to non-adherent behavior and psychosocial problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, special efforts may be necessary to maintain contact with these patients and offer support. This can be achieved through the use of telemedicine. The study's objective was to assess adherence and the psychosocial situation of YALTs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany and to evaluate the utilization of video consultations. METHODS: In May 2020, a questionnaire was sent to YALTs treated at the Hamburg University Transplant Center, accompanied by the offer of video appointments with the attending physician. The questionnaire included the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale 7, the Patient Health Questionnaire 2, and questions compiled by the authors. RESULTS: Of 98 YALTs, 12% used the video consultation, while 65% had an in-person appointment. The 56 patients who completed the questionnaire did not report reduced medication adherence during the pandemic, but 40% missed follow-up visits with their primary care physician or check-up laboratory tests. About 70% of YALTs were afraid to visit their physician and the transplant center, and 34% were afraid of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mental health and well-being were unimpaired. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, YALTs in our study did not show an increased need for psychosocial support, but a majority were afraid to attend medical appointments, and 40% reported lower appointment adherence. Acceptance of video consultations was lower than expected. The reasons for this need to be further investigated in order to optimize care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Liver Transplantation/psychology , Patient Compliance , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , Germany , Humans , Male , Medication Adherence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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