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AASLD 2010

Does Previous Hepatitis B Exposure Increase Liver Cancer Risk?

People who were previously exposed to hepatitis B virus (HBV) have an increased likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) even if they clear the virus, according to a study presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. These results suggest that individuals with prior HBV exposure, as well as those with chronic hepatitis B, could benefit from regular liver cancer monitoring.Jeffrey Tang and colleagues from Henry Ford Health System in Detroit conducted a retrospective cohort study to explore the association between hepatitis B serologic status and development of HCC among North American patients.

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Artificial Liver Device Improves Survival for Hepatitis B and C Patients with Decompensated Disease

An artificial liver device known as ELAD -- which runs a patient's blood through cartridges containing human liver cells -- conferred a significant survival advantage for people with acute decompensated liver disease related to chronic hepatitis B or C, according to a Chinese study presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. After 3 years, 44% of ELAD users were still alive without liver transplants, compared with 18% in the standard therapy group.

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Antiviral Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis B Patients with Decompensated Liver Cirrhosis

Chronic hepatitis B patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis can be treated safely and effectively with antiviral agents, according to a systematic review presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. Entecavir (Baraclude) has demonstrated good potency, matching that of lamivudine, but without resistance; newer agents such as tenofovir (Viread) require further study in this population.

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Alcohol and Diabetes Increase Risk of Liver Disease Progression in Hepatitis B Patients

Older patients and men with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were more likely to progress to liver cancer, decompensated cirrhosis, and liver-related death, while Asian patients had lower progression rates, according to an analysis of Kaiser Permanent members presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. Diabetes and heavy alcohol use also predicted poor outcomes.

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Are IL28B Gene Variations Associated with Outcomes in People with Hepatitis B?

IL28B gene patterns may influence response to interferon therapy for hepatitis B, but this is not as straightforward as it is for hepatitis C, according to a set of studies presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston. Two analyses suggested that people with the protective rs12979860 C/C pattern were more likely to achieve sustained virological suppression with interferon, but less likely to experience HBeAg seroconversion. A third study, however, found no link between rs12979860 pattern and hepatitis B or HIV persistence or progression.

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