To assess the alcohol drinking patterns in a cohort of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients and the possible influence on the development of fibrosis.
Ninety-six patients with PSC were evaluated with a validated questionnaire about a patient's lifetime drinking habits: the lifetime drinking history (LDH) questionnaire. In addition, clinical status, transient elastography and biochemistry values were analysed and registered. Patients were defined as having either significant or non-significant fibrosis. Significant fibrosis was defined as either an elastography value of = 17.3 kPa or the presence of clinical signs of cirrhosis. Patients were divided into two groups depending on their alcohol consumption patterns; no/low alcohol consumption (one drink or unit/d) and moderate/high alcohol consumption (= 1 drink or unit/d). LDH data were calculated to estimate lifetime alcohol intake (LAI), current alcohol intake, drinks per year before and after diagnosis of PSC. We also calculated the number of episodes of binge-drinking (defined as consuming = 5 drinks per occasion) in total, before and after the diagnosis of PSC.
The mean LAI was 3882 units of alcohol, giving a mean intake after onset of alcohol consumption of 2.6 units per week. Only 9% of patients consumed alcohol equal to or more than one unit per day. Current alcohol intake in patients with significant fibrosis (n = 26) was less than in patients without significant fibrosis (n = 70), as shown by lower values of phosphatidylethanol (B-PEth) (0.1 ?mol/L vs 0.33 ?mol/L, respectively, P = 0.002) and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) (0.88% vs 1.06%, respectively, P = 0.02). Self-reported LAI was similar between the two groups. Patients with significant fibrosis reduced their alcohol intake after diagnosis from 103 to 88 units per year whereas patients without fibrosis increased their alcohol intake after PSC diagnosis from 111 to 151 units/year. There were no correlations between elastography values and intake of alcohol (units/year) (r = -0.036).
PSC patients have low alcohol consumption. The lack of correlation between fibrosis and alcohol intake indicates that a low alcohol intake is safe in these patients.
OBJECTIVES: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a liver disease which, if untreated, may lead to liver cirrhosis and hepatic failure. Limited data exist regarding factors predicting the long-term outcome. The aims of this study were to investigate symptoms at presentation, prognostic features, management and treatment in relation to long-term outcome of AIH. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cohort of 473 Swedish patients with AIH was characterized regarding initial symptoms and signs, factors predicting death and future need for liver transplantation. Survival and causes of death were retrieved from Swedish national registers. RESULTS: At diagnosis, fatigue was a predominant symptom (69%), 47% of the patients were jaundiced and 30% had liver cirrhosis. Another 10% developed cirrhosis during follow-up. Markedly elevated alanine aminotransferase levels at presentation were correlated with a better outcome. A high international normalized ratio (INR) at diagnosis was the only risk factor predicting a need for later liver transplantation. Histological cirrhosis, decompensation and non-response to initial treatment were all factors that correlated with a worse outcome. Overall life expectancy was generally favourable. However, most deaths were liver-related, e.g. liver failure, shock and gastrointestinal bleeding. CONCLUSIONS: Cirrhosis at diagnosis, a non-response to initial immune-suppressive treatment or elevated INR values were associated with worse outcome and a need for later liver transplantation. In contrast, an acute hepatitis-like onset with intact synthetic capacity indicated a good response to treatment and favourable long-term prognosis. Lifetime maintenance therapy is most often required.
Epidemiological studies of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) show varying figures on prevalence and incidence, and data on the long-term prognosis are scarce. Objective To investigate the epidemiology, long-term prognosis and causes of death in a Swedish AIH cohort.
Data collected from 634 AIH patients were matched to the Cause of Death Registry, and survival analyses were made. Prevalence and incidence were calculated for university hospitals with full coverage of cases and compared to the County of Västerbotten in Northern Sweden.
AIH point prevalence was 17.3/100,000 inhabitants in 2009, and the yearly incidence 1990-2009 was 1.2/100,000 inhabitants and year. The time between diagnosis and end of follow-up, liver transplantation or death was in median 11.3 years (range 0-51.5 years). Men were diagnosed earlier (p?
Cirrhosis is a well-known risk factor for hepatocellular cancer, but the true risk in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is scarcely studied. Other cancers may arise after prolonged use of immune-modulating drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the cancer risk in a large cohort of AIH patients.
Six hundred and thirty-four Swedish patients in a well-defined cohort were matched to the Cause of Death Registry and the Cancer Registry. Standard incidence ratios were calculated by relating the incidences in the cohort to an age-matched material from the Swedish background population.
A higher overall incidence of malignancies than the background population was found, counting from the date of diagnosis (standard incidence ratio (SIR) 2.08, 95% CI 1.68-2.55). The highest risk was found for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We found 10 cases (4.0%) in 248 patients with cirrhosis, which gives an incidence rate of 0.3%. Standard incidence ratio for developing hepatobiliary cancer was 54.55 (95% CI 19.92-99.99). HCC only occurred in cirrhotic patients. There was also an increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancer (SIR 9.87, 95% CI 6.26-14.81).
A slightly enhanced risk for malignancies in general compared to the background population was found. The risk of hepatobiliary cancer was increased, but the annual risk over the observational period was well under the postulated 1.5% when surveillance in cirrhotic patients is considered to be cost-effective.