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    Down-regulated cylindromatosis enhances NF-κB activation and aggravates inflammation in HBV-ACLF patients. Emerging microbes & infections The pathogenesis of liver in patients with hepatitis B virus-associated acute chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) remains largely unknown. We aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of liver in HBV-ACLF patients by using multiple approaches including transcriptome analysis. We performed transcriptomic sequencing analysis on the liver of HBV-ACLF patients ( = 6), chronic hepatitis B ( = 6), liver cirrhosis ( = 6) and normal control ( = 5), then explored the potential pathogenesis mechanism in liver specimen from another 48 subjects and further validated the molecular and cellular mechanisms using THP-1 cells. RNA-sequencing data analysis indicated that, among the genes up-regulated in HBV-ACLF, genes related to inflammatory response and chemotaxis accounted for a large proportion of the total DEGs. A number of key chemokines (CCL2, CCL5, CCL20, CXCL5, CXCL6, CXCL8) and NF-ĸB pathway were identified to be robust in the liver samples from HBV-ACLF patients. Interestingly, cylindromatosis (CYLD) was found to be downregulated in the liver of HBV-ACLF patients, in line with the well-established role of CYLD in regulating most of the chemokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines (CCL2, CCL5, CCL20, CXCL5, CXCL6, CXCL8, IL-6, IL-1β) via inhibition of NF-ĸB. Indeed, the knockdown of CYLD resulted in sustained activation of NF-ĸB in macrophages and enhanced chemokines and inflammatory cytokines production, which in turn enhanced chemotactic migration of neutrophil, monocyte, T lymphocytes, and NK cell. In conclusions, down-regulated CYLD aggravated inflammatory cell chemotaxis through enhancing NF-κB activation in HBV-ACLF patients, thereby participating in the pathogenesis of HBV-ACLF injury. 10.1080/22221751.2022.2077128
    Prognostic value of plasma level of superoxide dismutase in HBV-related acute-on-chronic liver failure. BMC gastroenterology BACKGROUND:Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) is the most prevalent type of ACLF in China. The mortality rate of HBV-ACLF has decreased in recent years due to advances in treatment therapies; however, it is still above 50%. Many cases of HBV-ACLF are caused by HBV reactivation due to discontinuation of nucleoside analog treatment. The present study focused on plasma levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in HBV-ACLF patients and investigated whether the plasma level of SOD is a useful biomarker in assessing disease severity and predicting outcomes of HBV-ACLF patients, including patients treated with Entecavir (ETV) and patients who were withdrawn from ETV treatment. METHODS:Plasma samples and clinical data from 200 HBV-ACLF patients and from age- and sex-matched cirrhotic and healthy controls were collected and analyzed. Plasma levels of SOD were measured using an ELISA commercial kit. RESULTS:Among the HBV-ACLF patients, in the ETV withdrawal group, the mortality rate was higher than in the ETV group (69.95% vs 46.71%, P < 0.05). Moreover, HBV-DNA and SOD plasma levels were higher in the ETV withdrawal group than in the ETV group (Log(HBV-DNA): 6.49 ± 0.24 vs 4.79 ± 0.14, P < 0.01; SOD: 463.1 ± 27.61 U/mL vs 397.2 ± 10.97 U/mL, P < 0.05). The mortality and liver transplantation rates were significantly higher in HBV-ACLF patients with plasma levels of SOD > 428 U/mL than in patients with plasma SOD levels ≤ 428 U/mL. CONCLUSIONS:Reactivation of HBV and elevated oxidative stress caused by discontinuation of ETV treatment are crucial factors in the pathogenesis of HBV-ACLF. Plasma level of SOD may serve as a useful biomarker in estimating disease severity and predicting outcomes of HBV-ACLF patients who stop ETV treatment. 10.1186/s12876-022-02371-1
    Is HBV viral load at admission associated with development of acute-on-chronic liver failure in patients with acute decompensation of chronic hepatitis B related cirrhosis? Lei Jian-Hua,Peng Feng,Chen Zi,Xiao Xin-Qiang BMC infectious diseases BACKGROUND:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation is one of the most common precipitating events associated with acute decompensation (AD) or acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-related cirrhotic patients. However, whether their serum HBV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) levels are associated with ACLF incidence and short-term mortality rate is still ambiguous. METHODS:The ACLF incidences, 28-day and 90-day liver transplantation (LT)-free mortality rates, previous nucleoside/nucleotide analogues (NUCs) treatments and serum HBV DNA levels at admission (ad-levels) of 111 hospitalized patients with AD of CHB-related cirrhosis were analyzed. RESULTS:43 (38.7%) patients developed ACLF. The 28-day and 90-day LT-free mortality rates of the ACLF cases were 15.4 and 40.9%, respectively. Though NUCs inhibited HBV replication effectively, there were no differences in the ACLF incidence between antiviral treatment-naïve patients and NUCs treatment-experienced patients with or without interruptions (37.5, 41.7 and 45.5%, respectively, P>0.05). The serum HBV DNA ad-level was similar between the patients with and without ACLF development (logarithms: 4.50 ± 1.96 vs 4.32 ± 1.99; ≥2000 IU/ml: 67.4% vs 67.6%; both P>0.05), so was between the ACLF patients died or survived in 28 or 90 days (logarithms: 4.31 ± 1.91 vs 5.54 ± 2.53, 4.81 ± 1.76 vs 4.84 ± 2.40, respectively, both P>0.05). CONCLUSION:Serum HBV DNA ad-level and previous NUCs treatment are not associated with incidence of ACLF and short-term mortality rate in the hospitalized patients with AD of CHB-related cirrhosis. 10.1186/s12879-019-3988-1
    Role of precipitants in transition of acute decompensation to acute-on-chronic liver failure in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis. JHEP reports : innovation in hepatology Background & Aims:Pre-acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a distinct intermediate stage between acute decompensation (AD) and ACLF. However, identifying patients with pre-ACLF and predicting progression from AD to ACLF is difficult. This study aimed to identify pre-ACLF within 28 days, and to develop and validate a prediction model for ACLF in patients with HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis. Methods:In total, 1,736 patients with HBV-related cirrhosis and AD were enrolled from 2 large-scale, multicenter, prospective cohorts. ACLF occurrence within 28 days, readmission, and 3-month and 1-year outcomes were collected. Results:Among 970 patients with AD without ACLF in the derivation cohort, the 94 (9.6%) patients with pre-ACLF had the highest 3-month and 1-year LT-free mortality (61.6% and 70.9%, respectively), which was comparable to those with ACLF at enrollment (57.1% and 67.1%); the 251 (25.9%) patients with unstable decompensated cirrhosis had mortality rates of 22.4% and 32.1%, respectively; while the 507 (57.9%) patients with stable decompensated cirrhosis had the best outcomes (1-year mortality rate of 2.6%). Through Cox proportional hazard regression, specific precipitants, including hepatitis B flare with HBV reactivation, spontaneous hepatitis B flare with high viral load, superimposed infection on HBV, and bacterial infection, were identified to be significantly associated with ACLF occurrence in the derivation cohort. A model that incorporated precipitants, indicators of systemic inflammation and organ injuries reached a high C-index of 0.90 and 0.86 in derivation and validation cohorts, respectively. The optimal cut-off value (0.22) differentiated high-risk and low-risk patients, with a negative predictive value of 0.95. Conclusions:Three distinct clinical courses of patients with AD are validated in the HBV-etiology population. The precipitants significantly impact on AD-ACLF transition. A model developed by the precipitant-systemic inflammation-organ injury framework could be a useful tool for predicting ACLF occurrence. Clinical trial number:NCT02457637 and NCT03641872. Lay summary:It was previously shown that patients with decompensated cirrhosis could be stratified into 3 groups based on their short-term clinical prognoses. Herein, we showed that this stratification applies to patients who develop cirrhosis as a result of hepatitis B virus infection. We also developed a precipitant-based model ( a model that incorporated information about the exact cause of decompensation) that could predict the likelihood of these patients developing a very severe liver disease called acute-on-chronic liver failure (or ACLF). 10.1016/j.jhepr.2022.100529
    Dysregulation of the Lysophosphatidylcholine/Autotaxin/Lysophosphatidic Acid Axis in Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Is Associated With Mortality and Systemic Inflammation by Lysophosphatidic Acid-Dependent Monocyte Activation. Trovato Francesca M,Zia Rabiya,Napoli Salvatore,Wolfer Kate,Huang Xiaohong,Morgan Phillip E,Husbyn Hannah,Elgosbi Marwa,Lucangeli Manuele,Miquel Rosa,Wilson Ian,Heaton Nigel David,Heneghan Michael A,Auzinger Georg,Antoniades Charalambos G,Wendon Julia A,Patel Vishal C,Coen Muireann,Triantafyllou Evangelos,McPhail Mark J Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) BACKGROUND & AIMS:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is characterized by systemic inflammation, monocyte dysfunction, and susceptibility to infection. Lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) are immune-active lipids whose metabolic regulation and effect on monocyte function in ACLF is open for study. APPROACHES & RESULTS:Three hundred forty-two subjects were recruited and characterized for blood lipid, cytokines, phospholipase (PLA), and autotaxin (ATX) concentration. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and CD14 monocytes were cultured with LPC, or its autotaxin (ATX)-derived product, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), with or without lipopolysaccharide stimulation and assessed for surface marker phenotype, cytokines production, ATX and LPA-receptor expression, and phagocytosis. Hepatic ATX expression was determined by immunohistochemistry. Healthy volunteers and patients with sepsis or acute liver failure served as controls. ACLF serum was depleted in LPCs with up-regulated LPA levels. Patients who died had lower LPC levels than survivors (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.94; P < 0.001). Patients with high-grade ACLF had the lowest LPC concentrations and these rose over the first 3 days of admission. ATX concentrations were higher in patients with AD and ACLF and correlated with Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, Consortium on Chronic Liver Failure-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment, and LPC/LPA concentrations. Reduction in LPC correlated with higher monocyte Mer-tyrosine-kinase (MerTK) and CD163 expression. Plasma ATX concentrations rose dynamically during ACLF evolution, correlating with IL-6 and TNF-α, and were associated with increased hepatocyte ATX expression. ACLF patients had lower human leukocyte antigen-DR isotype and higher CD163/MerTK monocyte expression than controls; both CD163/MerTK expression levels were reduced in ACLF ex vivo following LPA, but not LPC, treatment. LPA induced up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines by CD14 cells without increasing phagocytic capacity. CONCLUSIONS:ATX up-regulation in ACLF promotes LPA production from LPC. LPA suppresses MerTK/CD163 expression and increases monocyte proinflammatory cytokine production. This metabolic pathway could be investigated to therapeutically reprogram monocytes in ACLF. 10.1002/hep.31738
    Chloride intercellular channel 3 suppression-mediated macrophage polarization: a potential indicator of poor prognosis of hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure. Immunology and cell biology Patients with hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) are characterized by immune paralysis and susceptibility to infections. Macrophages are important mediators of immune responses can be subclassified into two main phenotypes: classically activated and alternatively activated. However, few studies have investigated changes to macrophage polarization in HBV-related liver diseases. Therefore, we investigated the functional status of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from patients with mild chronic hepatitis B (n = 226), HBV-related compensated cirrhosis (n = 36), HBV-related decompensated cirrhosis (n = 40), HBV-ACLF (n = 62) and healthy controls (n = 10), as well as Kupffer cells (KCs) from patients with HBV-ACLF (n = 3). We found that during the progression of HBV-related liver diseases, the percentage of CD163 CD206 macrophages increased, while the percentage of CD80 human leukocyte antigen-DR macrophages decreased significantly. MDMs and KCs mainly exhibited high CD163 CD206 expression in patients with HBV-ACLF, which predicted poor clinical outcome and higher liver transplantation rate. Transcriptome sequencing analysis revealed that chloride intracellular channel-3 (CLIC3) was reduced in patients with HBV-ACLF, indicating a poor prognosis. To further study the effect of CLIC3 on macrophage polarization, human monocytic THP-1 cell-derived macrophages were used. We found that classical and alternative macrophage activation occurred through nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B pathways, respectively. CLIC3 suppression inhibited NF-κB activation and promoted the alternative activation. In conclusion, macrophage polarization gradually changed from classically activated to alternatively activated as HBV-related liver diseases progressed. Both CLIC3 suppression and increased alternatively activated macrophage percentage were potential indicators of the poor prognosis of patients with HBV-ACLF. 10.1111/imcb.12542
    Challenges With Stopping Long-term Nucleos(t)ide Analogue Therapy in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B. Liem K Seng,Gehring Adam J,Feld Jordan J,Janssen Harry L A Gastroenterology 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.10.050
    Toll-like receptor 4 is a therapeutic target for prevention and treatment of liver failure. Engelmann Cornelius,Sheikh Mohammed,Sharma Shreya,Kondo Takayuki,Loeffler-Wirth Henry,Zheng Yu Bao,Novelli Simone,Hall Andrew,Kerbert Annarein J C,Macnaughtan Jane,Mookerjee Rajeshwar,Habtesion Abeba,Davies Nathan,Ali Tauhid,Gupta Saurabh,Andreola Fausto,Jalan Rajiv Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays an essential role in mediating organ injury in acute liver failure (ALF) and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Herein, we assess whether inhibiting TLR4 signaling can ameliorate liver failure and serve as a potential treatment. METHODS:Circulating TLR4 ligands and hepatic TLR4 expression were measured in plasma samples and liver biopsies from patients with cirrhosis. TAK-242 (TLR4 inhibitor) was tested in vivo (10 mg/kg intraperitoneally) in rodent models of ACLF (bile duct ligation + lipopolysaccharide [LPS]; carbon tetrachloride + LPS) and ALF (galactosamine + LPS) and in vitro on immortalized human monocytes (THP-1) and hepatocytes (HHL5). The in vivo therapeutic effect was assessed by coma-free survival, organ injury and cytokine release and in vitro by measuring IL-6, IL-1β or cell injury (TUNEL), respectively. RESULTS:In patients with cirrhosis, hepatic TLR4 expression was upregulated and circulating TLR4 ligands were increased (p <0.001). ACLF in rodents was associated with a switch from apoptotic cell death in ALF to non-apoptotic forms of cell death. TAK-242 reduced LPS-induced cytokine secretion and cell death (p = 0.002) in hepatocytes and monocytes in vitro. In rodent models of ACLF, TAK-242 administration improved coma-free survival, reduced the degree of hepatocyte cell death in the liver (p <0.001) and kidneys (p = 0.048) and reduced circulating cytokine levels (IL-1β, p <0.001). In a rodent model of ALF, TAK-242 prevented organ injury (p <0.001) and systemic inflammation (IL-1β, p <0.001). CONCLUSION:This study shows that TLR4 signaling is a key factor in the development of both ACLF and ALF; its inhibition reduces the severity of organ injury and improves outcome. TAK-242 may be of therapeutic relevance in patients with liver failure. LAY SUMMARY:Toll-like receptor 4 (or TLR4) mediates endotoxin-induced tissue injury in liver failure and cirrhosis. This receptor sensitizes cells to endotoxins, which are produced by gram-negative bacteria. Thus, inhibiting TLR4 signaling with an inhibitor (TAK-242) ameliorates organ injury and systemic inflammation in rodent models of acute and acute-on-chronic liver failure. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.01.011
    HDL-related biomarkers are robust predictors of survival in patients with chronic liver failure. Trieb Markus,Rainer Florian,Stadlbauer Vanessa,Douschan Philipp,Horvath Angela,Binder Lukas,Trakaki Athina,Knuplez Eva,Scharnagl Hubert,Stojakovic Tatjana,Heinemann Ákos,Mandorfer Mattias,Paternostro Rafael,Reiberger Thomas,Pitarch Carla,Amorós Alex,Gerbes Alexander,Caraceni Paolo,Alessandria Carlo,Moreau Richard,Clària Joan,Marsche Gunther,Stauber Rudolf E Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are reduced in patients with chronic liver disease and inversely correlate with disease severity. During acute conditions such as sepsis, HDL-C levels decrease rapidly and HDL particles undergo profound changes in their composition and function. We aimed to determine whether indices of HDL quantity and quality associate with progression and survival in patients with advanced liver disease. METHODS:HDL-related biomarkers were studied in 508 patients with compensated or decompensated cirrhosis (including acute-on-chronic liver failure [ACLF]) and 40 age- and gender-matched controls. Specifically, we studied levels of HDL-C, its subclasses HDL2-C and HDL3-C, and apolipoprotein A1 (apoA-I), as well as HDL cholesterol efflux capacity as a metric of HDL functionality. RESULTS:Baseline levels of HDL-C and apoA-I were significantly lower in patients with stable cirrhosis compared to controls and were further decreased in patients with acute decompensation (AD) and ACLF. In stable cirrhosis (n = 228), both HDL-C and apoA-I predicted the development of liver-related complications independently of model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score. In patients with AD, with or without ACLF (n = 280), both HDL-C and apoA-I were MELD-independent predictors of 90-day mortality. On ROC analysis, both HDL-C and apoA-I had high diagnostic accuracy for 90-day mortality in patients with AD (AUROCs of 0.79 and 0.80, respectively, similar to that of MELD 0.81). On Kaplan-Meier analysis, HDL-C <17 mg/dl and apoA-I <50 mg/dl indicated poor short-term survival. The prognostic accuracy of HDL-C was validated in a large external validation cohort of 985 patients with portal hypertension due to advanced chronic liver disease (AUROCs HDL-C: 0.81 vs. MELD: 0.77). CONCLUSION:HDL-related biomarkers are robust predictors of disease progression and survival in chronic liver failure. LAY SUMMARY:People who suffer from cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) have low levels of cholesterol carried by high-density lipoproteins (HDL-C). These alterations are connected to inflammation, which is a problem in severe liver disease. Herein, we show that reduced levels of HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I, the main protein carried by HDL) are closely linked to the severity of liver failure, its complications and survival. Both HDL-C and apoA-I can be easily measured in clinical laboratories and are as good as currently used prognostic scores calculated from several laboratory values by complex formulas. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.01.026
    Differential inflammasome activation predisposes to acute-on-chronic liver failure in human and experimental cirrhosis with and without previous decompensation. Monteiro Sofia,Grandt Josephine,Uschner Frank Erhard,Kimer Nina,Madsen Jan Lysgård,Schierwagen Robert,Klein Sabine,Welsch Christoph,Schäfer Liliana,Jansen Christian,Claria Joan,Alcaraz-Quiles José,Arroyo Vicente,Moreau Richard,Fernandez Javier,Bendtsen Flemming,Mehta Gautam,Gluud Lise Lotte,Møller Søren,Praktiknjo Michael,Trebicka Jonel Gut OBJECTIVE:Systemic inflammation predisposes acutely decompensated (AD) cirrhosis to the development of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Supportive treatment can improve AD patients, becoming recompensated. Little is known about the outcome of patients recompensated after AD. We hypothesise that different inflammasome activation is involved in ACLF development in compensated and recompensated patients. DESIGN:249 patients with cirrhosis, divided into compensated and recompensated (previous AD), were followed prospectively for fatal ACLF development. Two external cohorts (n=327) (recompensation, AD and ACLF) were included. Inflammasome-driving interleukins (ILs), IL-1α (caspase-4/11-dependent) and IL-1β (caspase-1-dependent), were measured. In rats, bile duct ligation-induced cirrhosis and lipopolysaccharide exposition were used to induce AD and subsequent recompensation. IL-1α and IL-1β levels and upstream/downstream gene expression were measured. RESULTS:Patients developing ACLF showed higher baseline levels of ILs. Recompensated patients and patients with detectable ILs had higher rates of ACLF development than compensated patients. Baseline CLIF-C (European Foundation for the study of chronic liver failure consortium) AD, albumin and IL-1α were independent predictors of ACLF development in compensated and CLIF-C AD and IL-1β in recompensated patients. Compensated rats showed higher IL-1α gene expression and recompensated rats higher IL-1β levels with higher hepatic gene expression. Higher IL-1β detection rates in recompensated patients developing ACLF and higher IL-1α and IL-1β detection rates in patients with ACLF were confirmed in the two external cohorts. CONCLUSION:Previous AD is an important risk factor for fatal ACLF development and possibly linked with inflammasome activation. Animal models confirmed the results showing a link between ACLF development and IL-1α in compensated cirrhosis and IL-1β in recompensated cirrhosis. 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-320170
    Metabolomics to discriminate between acute decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure in cirrhosis. McPhail Mark J W,Coen Muireann Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.03.021
    Serum Levels of Metabolites Produced by Intestinal Microbes and Lipid Moieties Independently Associated With Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure and Death in Patients With Cirrhosis. Bajaj Jasmohan S,Reddy K Rajender,O'Leary Jacqueline G,Vargas Hugo E,Lai Jennifer C,Kamath Patrick S,Tandon Puneeta,Wong Florence,Subramanian Ram M,Thuluvath Paul,Fagan Andrew,White Melanie B,Gavis Edith A,Sehrawat Tejasav,de la Rosa Rodriguez Randolph,Thacker Leroy R,Sikaroodi Masoumeh,Garcia-Tsao Guadalupe,Gillevet Patrick M Gastroenterology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Inpatients with cirrhosis have high rates of acute-on-chronic failure (ACLF) development and high mortality within 30 days of admission to the hospital. Better biomarkers are needed to predict these outcomes. We performed metabolomic analyses of serum samples from patients with cirrhosis at multiple centers to determine whether metabolite profiles might identify patients at high risk for ACLF and death. METHODS:We performed metabolomic analyses, using liquid chromatography, of serum samples collected at time of admission to 12 North American tertiary hepatology centers from 602 patients in the North American Consortium for the Study of End-Stage Liver Disease sites from 2015 through 2017 (mean age, 56 years; 61% men; mean model for end-stage liver disease score, 19.5). We performed analysis of covariance, adjusted for model for end-stage liver disease at time of hospital admission, serum levels of albumin and sodium, and white blood cell count, to identify metabolites that differed between patients who did vs did not develop ACLF and patients who did vs did not die during hospitalization and within 30 days. We performed random forest analysis to identify specific metabolite(s) that were associated with outcomes and area under the curve (AUC) analyses to analyze them in context of clinical parameters. We analyzed microbiomes of stool samples collected from 133 patients collected at the same time and examined associations with serum metabolites. RESULTS:Of the 602 patients analyzed, 88 developed ACLF (15%), 43 died in the hospital (7%), and 72 died within 30 days (12%). Increased levels of compounds of microbial origin (aromatic compounds, secondary or sulfated bile acids, and benzoate) and estrogen metabolites, as well as decreased levels of phospholipids, were associated with development of ACLF, inpatient, and 30-day mortality and were also associated with fecal microbiomes. Random forest analysis and logistic regression showed that levels of specific microbially produced metabolites identified patients who developed ACLF with an AUC of 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78-0.88; P = .001), patients who died while in the hospital with an AUC of 0.81 (95% CI 0.74-0.85; P = .002), and patients who died within 30 days with an AUC of 0.77 (95% CI 0.73-0.81; P = .02). The metabolites were significantly additive to clinical parameters for predicting these outcomes. Metabolites associated with outcomes were also correlated with microbiomes of stool samples. CONCLUSIONS:In an analysis of serum metabolites and fecal microbiomes of patients hospitalized with cirrhosis at multiple centers, we associated metabolites of microbial origin and lipid moieties with development of ACLF and death as an inpatient or within 30 days, after controlling for clinical features. 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.07.019
    Interleukin-22 in acute-on-chronic liver failure: A matter of ineffective levels, receptor dysregulation or defective signalling? Schwarzkopf Katharina Maria,Eberle Larissa,Uschner Frank Erhard,Klein Sabine,Schierwagen Robert,Mücke Marcus Maximilian,Schaefer Liliana,Clària Joan,Zeuzem Stefan,Hintermann Edith,Christen Urs,Lange Christian Markus,Trebicka Jonel,Welsch Christoph Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.05.012
    Predicting development of ACLF. Hindson Jordan Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology 10.1038/s41575-020-0355-z
    Luminescence Imaging of Acute Liver Injury by Biodegradable and Biocompatible Nanoprobes. Tao Hui,Guo Jiawei,Ma Yongchang,Zhao Yang,Jin Taotao,Gu Lijuan,Dou Yin,Liu Jinyi,Hu Houyuan,Xiong Xiaoxing,Zhang Jianxiang ACS nano Liver injury can result in different hepatic diseases such as fatty liver, liver fibrosis, hepatitis, and liver failure, which are mainly responsible for global mortality and morbidity. Early diagnosis is critical for the treatment of liver diseases. Herein we report luminescence imaging of neutrophil-mediated acute liver injury, including alcoholic liver injury (ALI) and acute liver failure (ALF). To this purpose, a biodegradable luminescent material was developed by chemical functionalization of a cyclic oligosaccharide, which can be produced into nanoprobes (defined as LaCD NPs). Luminescence of LaCD NPs was dependent on the level of reactive oxygen species and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Correspondingly, activated neutrophils could be specifically imaged by LaCD NPs, and the luminescent signal was positively associated with the neutrophil count. In mouse models of ALI and ALF, LaCD NPs enabled precise quantification and tracking of neutrophils in livers. In both cases, changes in the luminescence intensity are consistent with time-dependent profiles of neutrophils, MPO, and other parameters relevant to the pathogenesis of liver injury. Moreover, the luminescence imaging capacity of LaCD NPs can be additionally improved by surface functionalization with a neutrophil-targeting peptide. In addition, preliminary and studies demonstrated good safety of LaCD NPs. Consequently, LaCD NPs can be further developed as an effective and biocompatible luminescent nanoprobe for dynamic detection of the development of neutrophil-mediated acute liver injury. It is also promising for diagnosis of other neutrophil-associated liver diseases. 10.1021/acsnano.0c00539
    Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure. Jindal Ankur The New England journal of medicine 10.1056/NEJMc2023198
    Pre-acute-on-chronic liver failure in hepatitis B-related patients. Tang Xiaoting,Qi Tingting,Li Beiling,Chen Jinjun Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.09.001
    Acute-on-chronic liver failure in East Asia: an underestimated issue with limited data. Cao Zhujun,Xie Qing Gut 10.1136/gutjnl-2021-324564
    A case of HBV-induced liver failure in the REEF-2 phase II trial: Implications for finite treatment strategies in HBV 'cure'. Journal of hepatology Nucleoside analogues are the mainstay of treatment for patients with chronic HBV infection but have no direct effect on covalently closed circular DNA. Long-term HBV viral suppression is now routine, but the desirable endpoint of functional cure is rarely achieved. Newer therapies, targeting other aspects of the replicative life cycle of HBV, present opportunities to deliver finite therapy and HBV 'cure'. This is an area of keen focus for the HBV community. We describe a severe case of hepatitis B reactivation, occurring shortly after the withdrawal of a nucleoside analogue within the protocol of a clinical trial (REEF-2). Despite best supportive care and prompt re-introduction of tenofovir, the patient developed subacute liver failure, requiring emergency orthotopic liver transplantation. As we strive to achieve HBV cure, this case highlights the potential risks of finite therapy and highlights the need for improved biomarker-driven strategies and re-evaluation of study protocols. 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.03.006
    Alterations in Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis as Assessed by Quantitative Metagenomics: Relationship With Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure and Prognosis. Solé Cristina,Guilly Susie,Da Silva Kevin,Llopis Marta,Le-Chatelier Emmanuelle,Huelin Patricia,Carol Marta,Moreira Rebeca,Fabrellas Núria,De Prada Gloria,Napoleone Laura,Graupera Isabel,Pose Elisa,Juanola Adrià,Borruel Natalia,Berland Magali,Toapanta David,Casellas Francesc,Guarner Francisco,Doré Jöel,Solà Elsa,Ehrlich Stanislav Dusko,Ginès Pere Gastroenterology BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Cirrhosis is associated with changes in gut microbiome composition. Although acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is the most severe clinical stage of cirrhosis, there is lack of information about gut microbiome alterations in ACLF using quantitative metagenomics. We investigated the gut microbiome in patients with cirrhosis encompassing the whole spectrum of disease (compensated, acutely decompensated without ACLF, and ACLF). A group of healthy subjects was used as control subjects. METHODS:Stool samples were collected prospectively in 182 patients with cirrhosis. DNA library construction and sequencing were performed using the Ion Proton Sequencer (ThermoFisher Scientific, Waltham, MA). Microbial genes were grouped into clusters, denoted as metagenomic species. RESULTS:Cirrhosis was associated with a remarkable reduction in gene and metagenomic species richness compared with healthy subjects. This loss of richness correlated with disease stages and was particularly marked in patients with ACLF and persisted after adjustment for antibiotic therapy. ACLF was associated with a significant increase of Enterococcus and Peptostreptococcus sp and a reduction of some autochthonous bacteria. Gut microbiome alterations correlated with model for end-stage liver disease and Child-Pugh scores and organ failure and was associated with some complications, particularly hepatic encephalopathy and infections. Interestingly, gut microbiome predicted 3-month survival with good stable predictors. Functional analysis showed that patients with cirrhosis had enriched pathways related to ethanol production, γ-aminobutyric acid metabolism, and endotoxin biosynthesis, among others. CONCLUSIONS:Cirrhosis is characterized by marked alterations in gut microbiome that parallel disease stages with maximal changes in ACLF. Altered gut microbiome was associated with complications of cirrhosis and survival. Gut microbiome may contribute to disease progression and poor prognosis. These results should be confirmed in future studies. 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.054
    Systemic inflammation increases across distinct stages of advanced chronic liver disease and correlates with decompensation and mortality. Costa Dalila,Simbrunner Benedikt,Jachs Mathias,Hartl Lukas,Bauer David,Paternostro Rafael,Schwabl Philipp,Scheiner Bernhard,Stättermayer Albert Friedrich,Pinter Matthias,Trauner Michael,Mandorfer Mattias,Reiberger Thomas Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Distinct prognostic stages of advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD) are defined by severity of portal hypertension (PH) and the presence/absence of clinical complications. We characterised the degree of liver dysfunction, PH, and systemic inflammation across the distinct prognostic stages and assessed their relative impact on decompensation and mortality. METHODS:A single-centre, prospective cohort of ACLD patients undergoing hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurement between 01/2017 and 08/2019 were classified into 6 prognostic stages: mild PH (HVPG 6-9 mmHg, S0), clinically significant PH (HVPG ≥10 mmHg without varices, S1), presence of varices (S2), history of variceal bleeding (S3), first non-bleeding decompensation (S4), and further decompensation (S5). The model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), C-reactive protein (CRP), and IL-6 levels were assessed in relation to their predictive value for decompensation and death. RESULTS:Among 168 ACLD patients 78 had compensated (cACLD, S0 = 13; S1 = 21; S2 = 44) and 90 had decompensated (dACLD, S3 = 10; S4 = 58; S5 = 22) disease. MELD increased across all stages (p <0.001), whereas HVPG mostly increased within cACLD substages. Significant increases in CRP and IL-6 levels were only noted across dACLD substages. IL-6 was an independent predictor of decompensation at 1-year follow-up in cACLD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.10; p = 0.013). In dACLD patients, IL-6 levels predicted death/transplantation after 1-year of follow-up (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01-1.03; p = 0.004). CONCLUSION:HVPG progression occurs mostly in cACLD patients, whereas systemic inflammation, as reflected by IL-6 levels, only increases substantially across dACLD stages. IL-6 levels correlate with the risk of first decompensation in cACLD and of death/transplantation in dACLD patients. LAY SUMMARY:Patients with advanced chronic liver disease (ACLD; i.e. liver cirrhosis) have a certain risk of mortality according to their stage of disease. Progression of disease is greatly influenced by increased pressure in the portal venous system (i.e. portal hypertension) and occurrence of clinical complications (i.e. decompensation). Our study demonstrates that systemic inflammation markedly increases across highest disease stages, and the inflammation biomarker IL-6 in blood may specifically indicate risk of disease progression in patients with ACLD. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION:The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03267615). 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.10.004
    Acute liver failure is regulated by MYC- and microbiome-dependent programs. Kolodziejczyk Aleksandra A,Federici Sara,Zmora Niv,Mohapatra Gayatree,Dori-Bachash Mally,Hornstein Shanni,Leshem Avner,Reuveni Debby,Zigmond Ehud,Tobar Ana,Salame Tomer Meir,Harmelin Alon,Shlomai Amir,Shapiro Hagit,Amit Ido,Elinav Eran Nature medicine Acute liver failure (ALF) is a fulminant complication of multiple etiologies, characterized by rapid hepatic destruction, multi-organ failure and mortality. ALF treatment is mainly limited to supportive care and liver transplantation. Here we utilize the acetaminophen (APAP) and thioacetamide (TAA) ALF models in characterizing 56,527 single-cell transcriptomes to define the mouse ALF cellular atlas. We demonstrate that unique, previously uncharacterized stellate cell, endothelial cell, Kupffer cell, monocyte and neutrophil subsets, and their intricate intercellular crosstalk, drive ALF. We unravel a common MYC-dependent transcriptional program orchestrating stellate, endothelial and Kupffer cell activation during ALF, which is regulated by the gut microbiome through Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. Pharmacological inhibition of MYC, upstream TLR signaling checkpoints or microbiome depletion suppress this cell-specific, MYC-dependent program, thereby attenuating ALF. In humans, we demonstrate upregulated hepatic MYC expression in ALF transplant recipients compared to healthy donors. Collectively we demonstrate that detailed cellular/genetic decoding may enable pathway-specific ALF therapeutic intervention. 10.1038/s41591-020-1102-2
    Utilizing the gut microbiome in decompensated cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure. Trebicka Jonel,Bork Peer,Krag Aleksander,Arumugam Manimozhiyan Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology The human gut microbiome has emerged as a major player in human health and disease. The liver, as the first organ to encounter microbial products that cross the gut epithelial barrier, is affected by the gut microbiome in many ways. Thus, the gut microbiome might play a major part in the development of liver diseases. The common end stage of liver disease is decompensated cirrhosis and the further development towards acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). These conditions have high short-term mortality. There is evidence that translocation of components of the gut microbiota, facilitated by different pathogenic mechanisms such as increased gut epithelial permeability and portal hypertension, is an important driver of decompensation by induction of systemic inflammation, and thereby also ACLF. Elucidating the role of the gut microbiome in the aetiology of decompensated cirrhosis and ACLF deserves further investigation and improvement; and might be the basis for development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In this Review, we focus on the possible pathogenic, diagnostic and therapeutic role of the gut microbiome in decompensation of cirrhosis and progression to ACLF. 10.1038/s41575-020-00376-3
    Assessing the role of amino acids in systemic inflammation and organ failure in patients with ACLF. Zaccherini Giacomo,Aguilar Ferran,Caraceni Paolo,Clària Joan,Lozano Juan José,Fenaille François,Castelli Florence,Junot Christophe,Curto Anna,Formentin Chiara,Weiss Emmanuel,Bernardi Mauro,Jalan Rajiv,Angeli Paolo,Moreau Richard,Arroyo Vicente Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Systemic inflammation and organ failure(s) are the hallmarks of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF), yet their pathogenesis remains uncertain. Herein, we aimed to assess the role of amino acids in these processes in patients with ACLF. METHODS:The blood metabolomic database of the CANONIC study (comprising 137 metabolites, with 43% related to amino acids) - obtained in 181 patients with ACLF and 650 with acute decompensation without ACLF (AD) - was reanalyzed with a focus on amino acids, in particular 9 modules of co-regulated metabolites. We also compared blood metabolite levels between ACLF and AD. RESULTS:The main findings in ACLF were: i) Metabolite modules were increased in parallel with increased levels of markers of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. ii) Seventy percent of proteinogenic amino acids were present and most were increased. iii) A metabolic network, comprising the amino acids aspartate, glutamate, the serine-glycine one-carbon metabolism (folate cycle), and methionine cycle, was activated, suggesting increased purine and pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis. iv) Cystathionine, L-cystine, glutamate and pyroglutamate, which are involved in the transsulfuration pathway (a methionine cycle branch) were increased, consistent with increased synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione. v) Intermediates of the catabolism of 5 out of the 6 ketogenic amino acids were increased. vi) The levels of spermidine (a polyamine inducer of autophagy with anti-inflammatory effects) were decreased. CONCLUSIONS:In ACLF, blood amino acids fueled protein and nucleotide synthesis required for the intense systemic inflammatory response. Ketogenic amino acids were extensively catabolized to produce energy substrates in peripheral organs, an effect that was insufficient because organs failed. Finally, the decrease in spermidine levels may cause a defect in autophagy contributing to the proinflammatory phenotype in ACLF. LAY SUMMARY:Systemic inflammation and organ failures are hallmarks of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Herein, we aimed to characterize the role of amino acids in these processes. The blood metabolome of patients with acutely decompensated cirrhosis, and particularly those with ACLF, reveals evidence of intense skeletal muscle catabolism. Importantly, amino acids (along with glucose), are used for intense anabolic, energy-consuming metabolism in patients with ACLF, presumably to support de novo nucleotide and protein synthesis in the activated innate immune system. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.035
    The systemic inflammation hypothesis: Towards a new paradigm of acute decompensation and multiorgan failure in cirrhosis. Arroyo Vicente,Angeli Paolo,Moreau Richard,Jalan Rajiv,Clària Joan,Trebicka Jonel,Fernández Javier,Gustot Thierry,Caraceni Paolo,Bernardi Mauro, Journal of hepatology Acute decompensation (AD) of cirrhosis is defined by the development of ascites, hepatic encephalopathy and/or variceal bleeding. Ascites is traditionally attributed to splanchnic arterial vasodilation and left ventricular dysfunction, hepatic encephalopathy to hyperammonaemia, and variceal haemorrhage to portal hypertension. Recent large-scale European observational studies have shown that systemic inflammation is a hallmark of AD. Here we present a working hypothesis, the systemic inflammation hypothesis, suggesting that systemic inflammation through an impairment of the functions of one or more of the major organ systems may be a common theme and act synergistically with the traditional mechanisms involved in the development of AD. Systemic inflammation may impair organ system function through mechanisms which are not mutually exclusive. The first mechanism is a nitric oxide-mediated accentuation of the preexisting splanchnic vasodilation, resulting in the overactivation of the endogenous vasoconstrictor systems which elicit intense vasoconstriction and hypoperfusion in certain vascular beds, in particular the renal circulation. Second, systemic inflammation may cause immune-mediated tissue damage, a process called immunopathology. Finally, systemic inflammation may induce important metabolic changes. Indeed, systemic inflammatory responses are energetically expensive processes, requiring reallocation of nutrients (glucose, amino acids and lipids) to fuel immune activation. Systemic inflammation also inhibits nutrient consumption in peripheral (non-immune) organs, an effect that may provide one mechanism of reallocation and prioritisation of metabolic fuels for inflammatory responses. However, the decrease in nutrient consumption in peripheral organs may result in decreased mitochondrial production of ATP (energy) and subsequently impaired organ function. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.048
    Systemic inflammation and disorders of hemostasis in the AD-ACLF syndrome. Lisman Ton,Luyendyk James P Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.12.017
    PBMC transcriptomics identifies immune-metabolism disorder during the development of HBV-ACLF. Li Jiang,Liang Xi,Jiang Jing,Yang Lingling,Xin Jiaojiao,Shi Dongyan,Lu Yingyan,Li Jun,Ren Keke,Hassan Hozeifa Mohamed,Zhang Jianing,Chen Pengcheng,Yao Heng,Li Jiaqi,Wu Tianzhou,Jin Linfeng,Ye Ping,Li Tan,Zhang Huafen,Sun Suwan,Guo Beibei,Zhou Xingping,Cai Qun,Chen Jiaxian,Xu Xiaowei,Huang Jianrong,Hao Shaorui,He Jinqiu,Xin Shaojie,Wang Di,Trebicka Jonel,Chen Xin,Li Jun, Gut OBJECTIVE:Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) pathophysiology remains unclear. This study aims to characterise the molecular basis of HBV-ACLF using transcriptomics. METHODS:Four hundred subjects with HBV-ACLF, acute-on-chronic hepatic dysfunction (ACHD), liver cirrhosis (LC) or chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and normal controls (NC) from a prospective multicentre cohort were studied, and 65 subjects (ACLF, 20; ACHD, 10; LC, 10; CHB, 10; NC, 15) among them underwent mRNA sequencing using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). RESULTS:The functional synergy analysis focusing on seven bioprocesses related to the PBMC response and the top 500 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) showed that viral processes were associated with all disease stages. Immune dysregulation, as the most prominent change and disorder triggered by HBV exacerbation, drove CHB or LC to ACHD and ACLF. Metabolic disruption was significant in ACHD and severe in ACLF. The analysis of 62 overlapping DEGs further linked the HBV-based immune-metabolism disorder to ACLF progression. The signatures of interferon-related, neutrophil-related and monocyte-related pathways related to the innate immune response were significantly upregulated. Signatures linked to the adaptive immune response were downregulated. Disruptions of lipid and fatty acid metabolism were observed during ACLF development. External validation of four DEGs underlying the aforementioned molecular mechanism in patients and experimental rats confirmed their specificity and potential as biomarkers for HBV-ACLF pathogenesis. CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights immune-metabolism disorder triggered by HBV exacerbation as a potential mechanism of HBV-ACLF and may indicate a novel diagnostic and treatment target to reduce HBV-ACLF-related mortality. 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323395
    Global burden of disease: acute-on-chronic liver failure, a systematic review and meta-analysis. Mezzano Gabriel,Juanola Adria,Cardenas Andres,Mezey Esteban,Hamilton James P,Pose Elisa,Graupera Isabel,Ginès Pere,Solà Elsa,Hernaez Ruben Gut BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) is characterised by acute decompensation of cirrhosis associated with organ failures. We systematically evaluated the geographical variations of ACLF across the world in terms of prevalence, mortality, aetiology of chronic liver disease (CLD), triggers and organ failures. METHODS:We searched EMBASE and PubMed from 3/1/2013 to 7/3/2020 using the ACLF-EASL-CLIF (European Association for the Study of the Liver-Chronic Liver Failure) criteria. Two investigators independently conducted the abstract selection/abstraction of the aetiology of CLD, triggers, organ failures and prevalence/mortality by presence/grade of ACLF. We grouped countries into Europe, East/South Asia and North/South America. We calculated the pooled proportions, evaluated the methodological quality using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and statistical heterogeneity, and performed sensitivity analyses. RESULTS:We identified 2369 studies; 30 cohort studies met our inclusion criteria (43 206 patients with ACLF and 140 835 without ACLF). The global prevalence of ACLF among patients admitted with decompensated cirrhosis was 35% (95% CI 33% to 38%), highest in South Asia at 65%. The global 90-day mortality was 58% (95% CI 51% to 64%), highest in South America at 73%. Alcohol was the most frequently reported aetiology of underlying CLD (45%, 95% CI 41 to 50). Infection was the most frequent trigger (35%) and kidney dysfunction the most common organ failure (49%). Sensitivity analyses showed regional estimates grossly unchanged for high-quality studies. Type of design, country health index, underlying CLD and triggers explained the variation in estimates. CONCLUSIONS:The global prevalence and mortality of ACLF are high. Region-specific variations could be explained by the type of triggers/aetiology of CLD or grade. Health systems will need to tailor early recognition and treatment of ACLF based on region-specific data. 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322161
    Systemic inflammation and liver cirrhosis complications: Driving or secondary event? How to square the circle? Samuel Didier Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.001
    IgG, a novel predictor for acute-on-chronic liver failure and survival in patients with decompensated cirrhosis? Tergast Tammo L,Schultalbers Marie,Wedemeyer Heiner,Cornberg Markus,Maasoumy Benjamin Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.040
    Amino acids in acute-on-chronic liver failure: Another piece of the puzzle? Coenraad Minneke J,Artru Florent Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.009
    Acute-on-chronic liver failure: a global disease. Schulz Martin,Trebicka Jonel Gut 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323973
    Reply to: "Systemic inflammation and disorders of hemostasis in the AD-ACLF syndrome". Arroyo Vicente,Fernández Javier,Moreau Richard Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.02.021
    Prognostic value of HDL-related biomarkers in patients with HBV-related ACLF. Wen Xiajie,Tong Jingjing,Yao Mingjie,Hu Jinhua,Lu Fengmin Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.02.019
    A novel microRNA-based prognostic model outperforms standard prognostic models in patients with acetaminophen-induced acute liver failure. Tavabie Oliver D,Karvellas Constantine J,Salehi Siamak,Speiser Jaime L,Rose Christopher F,Menon Krishna,Prachalias Andreas,Heneghan Michael A,Agarwal Kosh,Lee William M,McPhail Mark J W,Aluvihare Varuna R, Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Acetaminophen (APAP)-induced acute liver failure (ALF) remains the most common cause of ALF in the Western world. Conventional prognostic models, utilising markers of liver injury and organ failure, lack sensitivity for mortality prediction. We previously identified a microRNA signature that is associated with successful regeneration post-auxiliary liver transplant and with recovery from APAP-ALF. Herein, we aimed to use this microRNA signature to develop outcome prediction models for APAP-ALF. METHODS:We undertook a nested, case-control study using serum samples from 194 patients with APAP-ALF enrolled in the US ALF Study Group registry (1998-2014) at early (day 1-2) and late (day 3-5) time-points. A microRNA qPCR panel of 22 microRNAs was utilised to assess microRNA expression at both time-points. Multiple logistic regression was used to develop models which were compared to conventional prognostic models using the DeLong method. RESULTS:Individual microRNAs confer limited prognostic value when utilised in isolation. However, incorporating them within microRNA-based outcome prediction models increases their clinical utility. Our early time-point model (AUC = 0.78, 95% CI 0.71-0.84) contained a microRNA signature associated with liver regeneration and our late time-point model (AUC = 0.83, 95% CI 0.76-0.89) contained a microRNA signature associated with cell-death. Both models were enhanced when combined with model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and vasopressor use and both outperformed the King's College criteria. The early time-point model combined with clinical parameters outperformed the ALF Study Group prognostic index and the MELD score. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate that a regeneration-linked microRNA signature combined with readily available clinical parameters can outperform existing prognostic models for ALF in identifying patients with poor prognosis who may benefit from transplantation. LAY SUMMARY:While acute liver failure can be reversible, some patients will die without a liver transplant. We show that blood test markers that measure the potential for liver recovery may help improve identification of patients unlikely to survive acute liver failure who may benefit from a liver transplant. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.03.013
    Reply to: "Prognostic value of HDL-related biomarkers in patients with HBV-related ACLF". Stauber Rudolf E,Scharnagl Hubert,Marsche Gunther Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.04.002
    Bacterial infection-related acute-on-chronic liver failure: The standpoint matters! Fischer Petra,Stefanescu Horia,Hategan Raluca,Procopet Bogdan,Ionescu Daniela Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.04.046
    Acute-on-chronic liver failure: A distinct clinical syndrome. Moreau Richard,Gao Bin,Papp Maria,Bañares Rafael,Kamath Patrick S Journal of hepatology There are different operating definitions for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in different geographic regions. Consortia in Western countries have developed definitions that apply to patients with cirrhosis, while consortia in Asia have developed definitions that apply to patients with chronic liver diseases with or without cirrhosis. Investigators of the Chinese and Western Consortia believe that ACLF can be precipitated by acute insults that are intrahepatic (e.g. alcoholic hepatitis) or extrahepatic (e.g. bacterial infection, gastrointestinal haemorrhage), and that extrahepatic organ system failures can be used to define ACLF. In contrast, the Asia Pacific consortium believe that ACLF is only defined by an acute onset of liver failure in response to an acute hepatic insult. Of note, although ACLF has received different operating definitions, every definition recognises that ACLF is a distinct clinical entity. This article provides an updated overview of the distinctive features of ACLF according to the definitions used to characterise it. In addition, we discuss future directions for research aimed at identifying the hallmarks of ACLF. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.047
    Transition to decompensation and acute-on-chronic liver failure: Role of predisposing factors and precipitating events. Gustot Thierry,Stadlbauer Vanessa,Laleman Wim,Alessandria Carlo,Thursz Mark Journal of hepatology The transition from compensated to decompensated cirrhosis results from a complex interplay of predisposing and precipitating factors and represents an inflection point in the probability of a patient surviving. With the progression of cirrhosis, patients accumulate multiple disorders (e.g. altered liver architecture, portal hypertension, local and systemic inflammation, bacterial translocation, gut dysbiosis, kidney vasoconstriction) that predispose them to decompensation. On the background of these factors, precipitating events (e.g. bacterial infection, alcoholic hepatitis, variceal haemorrhage, drug-induced liver injury, flare of liver disease) lead to acute decompensation (ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, variceal bleeding, jaundice) and/or organ failures, which characterise acute-on-chronic liver failure. In this review paper, we will discuss the current hypotheses and latest evidences regarding predisposing and precipitating factors associated with the transition to decompensated liver disease. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.12.005
    Pathophysiology of decompensated cirrhosis: Portal hypertension, circulatory dysfunction, inflammation, metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. Journal of hepatology Patients with acutely decompensated cirrhosis have a dismal prognosis and frequently progress to acute-on-chronic liver failure, which is characterised by hepatic and extrahepatic organ failure(s). The pathomechanisms involved in decompensation and disease progression are still not well understood, and as specific disease-modifying treatments do not exist, research to identify novel therapeutic targets is of the utmost importance. This review amalgamates the latest knowledge on disease mechanisms that lead to tissue injury and extrahepatic organ failure - such as systemic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and metabolic changes - and marries these with the classical paradigms of acute decompensation to form a single paradigm. With this detailed breakdown of pathomechanisms, we identify areas for future research. Novel disease-modifying strategies that break the vicious cycle are urgently required to improve patient outcomes. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.01.002
    The microbiota in cirrhosis and its role in hepatic decompensation. Journal of hepatology Cirrhosis - the common end-stage of chronic liver disease - is associated with a cascade of events, of which intestinal bacterial overgrowth and dysbiosis are central. Bacterial toxins entering the portal or systemic circulation can directly cause hepatocyte death, while dysbiosis also affects gut barrier function and increases bacterial translocation, leading to infections, systemic inflammation and vasodilation, which contribute to acute decompensation and organ failure. Acute decompensation and its severe forms, pre-acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) and ACLF, are characterised by sudden organ dysfunction (and failure) and high short-term mortality. Patients with pre-ACLF and ACLF present with high-grade systemic inflammation, usually precipitated by proven bacterial infection and/or severe alcoholic hepatitis. However, no precipitant is identified in 30% of these patients, in whom bacterial translocation from the gut microbiota is assumed to be responsible for systemic inflammation and decompensation. Different microbiota profiles may influence the rate of decompensation and thereby outcome in these patients. Thus, targeting the microbiota is a promising strategy for the prevention and treatment of acute decompensation, pre-ACLF and ACLF. Approaches include the use of antibiotics such as rifaximin, faecal microbial transplantation and enterosorbents (e.g. Yaq-001), which bind microbial factors without exerting a direct effect on bacterial growth kinetics. This review focuses on the role of microbiota in decompensation and strategies targeting microbiota to prevent acute decompensation. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.013
    The multifactorial mechanisms of bacterial infection in decompensated cirrhosis. Van der Merwe Schalk,Chokshi Shilpa,Bernsmeier Christine,Albillos Agustin Journal of hepatology Infections, due to a dysfunctional immune response, pose a great risk to patients with decompensated cirrhosis and herald the beginning of the terminal phase of this disease. Infections typically result from breaches in innate immune barriers and inadequate clearance by immune cells. This leads to bacterial and bacterial product translocation to the systemic circulation, which is already primed by ongoing hepatic inflammation in patients with cirrhosis, who are particularly prone to developing organ failure in the presence of an infection. Early identification of bacterial infection, along with the prompt use of appropriate antibiotics, have reduced the mortality associated with certain infections in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Judicious use of antibiotic therapy remains imperative given the emergence of multidrug-resistant infections in the cirrhotic population. Important research over the last few years has identified molecular targets on immune cells that may enhance their function, and theoretically prevent infections. Clinical trials are ongoing to delineate the beneficial effects of targeted molecules from their off-target effects. Herein, we review the mechanisms that predispose patients with cirrhosis to bacterial infections, the clinical implications of infections and potential targets for the prevention or treatment of infections in this vulnerable population. 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.029
    Development and validation of a new prognostic score for hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure. Li Jiaqi,Liang Xi,You Shaoli,Feng Tingting,Zhou Xin,Zhu Bing,Luo Jinjin,Xin Jiaojiao,Jiang Jing,Shi Dongyan,Lu Yingyan,Ren Keke,Wu Tianzhou,Yang Lingling,Li Jiang,Li Tan,Cai Qun,Sun Suwan,Guo Beibei,Zhou Xingping,Chen Jiaxian,He Lulu,Li Peng,Yang Hui,Hu Wen,An Zhanglu,Jin Xiaojun,Tian Jin,Wang Baoju,Chen Xin,Xin Shaojie,Li Jun, Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Early determination of the prognosis of patients with hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) is important to guide clinical management and decrease mortality. The aim of this study was to develop a new simplified prognostic score to accurately predict outcomes in patients with HBV-ACLF. METHODS:Prospective clinical data from 2,409 hospitalized patients with acute deterioration of HBV-related chronic liver disease were used to develop a new prognostic score that was validated in an external group. RESULTS:A total of 954 enrolled patients with HBV-ACLF were diagnosed based on the Chinese Group on the Study of Severe Hepatitis B-ACLF (COSSH-ACLF) criteria. Six predictive factors were significantly related to 28-day mortality and constituted a new prognostic score (=1.649×ln(international normalized ratio)+0.457×hepatic encephalopathy score+0.425×ln(neutrophil)+0.396×ln(total bilirubin)+0.576×ln(serum urea)+0.033×age). The C-indices of the new score for 28-/90-day mortality (0.826/0.809) were significantly higher than those of 4 other scores (COSSH-ACLF, 0.793/0.784; CLIF-C ACLF, 0.792/0.770; MELD, 0.731/0.727; MELD-Na, 0.730/0.726; all p <0.05). The prediction error rates of the new score for 28-day mortality were significantly lower than those of the 4 other scores: COSSH-ACLF (15.9%), CLIF-C ACLF (16.3%), MELD (35.3%) and MELD-Na (35.6%). The probability density function evaluation and risk stratification of the new score also showed the highest predictive values for mortality. These results were then validated in an external cohort. CONCLUSION:A new prognostic score based on 6 predictors, without an assessment of organ failure, can accurately predict short-term mortality in patients with HBV-ACLF and might be used to guide clinical management. LAY SUMMARY:Hepatitis B virus-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HBV-ACLF) is a complex syndrome that is associated with a high short-term mortality rate. We developed a simplified prognostic score for patients suffering from this condition based on a prospective multicentre cohort. This new score had better predictive ability than 4 other commonly used scores. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.05.026
    EASL-CLIF criteria outperform NACSELD criteria for diagnosis and prognostication in ACLF. Li Feng,Thuluvath Paul J Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:There is no consensus on the best definition for acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). In this study, we compared the prevalence and 30-day all-cause and transplant-free mortality of patients with ACLF identified by European Association for the Study of the Liver-Chronic Liver Failure Consortium (EASL-CLIF) and North American Consortium for the Study of End-stage Liver Disease (NACSELD) criteria. METHODS:We performed this comparative analysis using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data from January 11, 2016 to August 31, 2020. RESULTS:A total of 10,198 (21%) adult patients had EASL-CLIF ACLF grade 1-3, but of these only 15.3% had ACLF by NACSELD. Of the 2,562 with EASL-CLIF ACLF grade 3, only 48.8% had NACSELD-ACLF, 16.8% had no organ failure (OF) and 34.4% had 1 OF. The 30-day all-cause mortality was 1.5%, 7.7%, 13.3% and 25.8% for EASL-CLIF grade 0-3, respectively, and it was 15.4% and 28.1% in those without and with NACSELD-ACLF. When EASL-CLIF grade 3 patients were stratified by NACSELD OF, the mortality ranged from 18.6% with no OF to 41.0% with 4 OFs. The 30-day transplant-free mortality in those with no OF by NACSELD was 2.7%, but when the same group is stratified by EASL-CLIF grades 0-3, the mortality rates were 1.5%, 10.5%, 43.5% and 86%, respectively; the mortality rates ranged from 3.0% to 75.7% in those with 1 OF by NACSELD. CONCLUSIONS:There is a clear discordance in the prevalence and 30-day mortality rates of patients with ACLF identified by the EASL-CLIF and NACSELD criteria. EASL-CLIF criteria have a better sensitivity to detect ACLF and have a better prognostic capability. LAY SUMMARY:There is no consensus on the definition of acute-on-chronic liver failure. European (EASL-CLIF) and North American (NACSELD) consortia have each proposed a commonly used definition. In this study, we compared the prevalence and short-term (30-day) mortality based on these definitions. Using a very large data set, we observed that there was a significant discordance in the prevalence and mortality based on these criteria. EASL-CLIF criteria appeared to be more sensitive to identify acute-on-chronic liver failure, and were better at predicting all-cause and short-term mortality. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.05.033
    Universal definition and prognostication in acute-on-chronic liver failure - an unmet need! Verma Nipun,Mehtani Rohit,Duseja Ajay Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.06.046
    Reply to: Correspondence on "Clinical features and evolution of bacterial infection-related acute-on-chronic liver failure". Wong Florence,Piano Salvatore,Angeli Paolo Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.07.010
    Mitochondrial dysfunction governs immunometabolism in leukocytes of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure. Zhang Ingrid W,Curto Anna,López-Vicario Cristina,Casulleras Mireia,Duran-Güell Marta,Flores-Costa Roger,Colsch Benoit,Aguilar Ferran,Aransay Ana M,Lozano Juan José,Hernández-Tejero María,Toapanta David,Fernández Javier,Arroyo Vicente,Clària Joan Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) present a systemic hyperinflammatory response associated with increased circulating levels of small-molecule metabolites. To investigate whether these alterations reflect inadequate cell energy output, we assessed mitochondrial morphology and central metabolic pathways with emphasis on the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in peripheral leukocytes from patients with acutely decompensated (AD) cirrhosis, with and without ACLF. METHODS:The study included samples from patients with AD cirrhosis (108 without and 128 with ACLF) and 41 healthy individuals. Leukocyte mitochondrial ultrastructure was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and cytosolic and mitochondrial metabolic fluxes were determined by assessing NADH/FADH production from various substrates. Plasma GDF15 and FGF21 were determined by Luminex and acylcarnitines by LC-MS/MS. Gene expression was analyzed by RNA-sequencing and PCR-based glucose metabolism profiler array. RESULTS:Mitochondrial ultrastructure in patients with advanced cirrhosis was distinguished by cristae rarefication and swelling. The number of mitochondria per leukocyte was higher in patients, accompanied by a reduction in their size. Increased FGF21 and C6:0- and C8:0-carnitine predicted mortality whereas GDF15 strongly correlated with a gene set signature related to leukocyte activation. Metabolic flux analyses revealed increased energy production in mononuclear leukocytes from patients with preferential involvement of extra-mitochondrial pathways, supported by upregulated expression of genes encoding enzymes of the glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways. In patients with ACLF, mitochondrial function analysis uncovered break-points in the TCA cycle at the isocitrate dehydrogenase and succinate dehydrogenase level, which were bridged by anaplerotic reactions involving glutaminolysis and nucleoside metabolism. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings provide evidence at the cellular, organelle and biochemical levels that severe mitochondrial dysfunction governs immunometabolism in leukocytes from patients with AD cirrhosis and ACLF. LAY SUMMARY:Patients at advanced stages of liver disease have dismal prognosis due to vital organ failures and the lack of treatment options. In this study, we report that the functioning of mitochondria, which are known as the cell powerhouse, is severely impaired in leukocytes of these patients, probably as a consequence of intense inflammation. Mitochondrial dysfunction is therefore a hallmark of advanced liver disease. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.08.009
    Urinary L-FABP is a promising prognostic biomarker of ACLF and mortality in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Juanola Adrià,Graupera Isabel,Elia Chiara,Piano Salvatore,Solé Cristina,Carol Marta,Pérez-Guasch Martina,Bassegoda Octavi,Escudé Laia,Rubio Ana-Belén,Cervera Marta,Napoleone Laura,Avitabile Emma,Ma Ann T,Fabrellas Núria,Pose Elisa,Morales-Ruiz Manuel,Jiménez Wladimiro,Torres Ferran,Crespo Gonzalo,Solà Elsa,Ginès Pere Journal of hepatology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Decompensated cirrhosis (DC) is associated with high mortality, mainly owing to the development of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). Identifying the patients with DC who are at high risk of mortality and ACLF development is an unmet clinical need. Liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP) is expressed in several organs and correlates with liver and systemic inflammation. Herein, we aimed to assess the prognostic value of L-FABP in patients with DC. METHODS:A prospective series of 444 patients hospitalized for DC was divided into 2 cohorts: study cohort (305 patients) and validation cohort (139 patients). L-FABP was measured in urine and plasma samples collected at admission. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) was also measured in urine samples for comparison. RESULTS:Urine but not plasma L-FABP correlated with 3-month survival on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, urine L-FABP and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)-Na were the only independent predictors of prognosis. Urine L-FABP levels were higher in patients with ACLF than in those without and also predicted the development of ACLF, together with MELD-Na, during follow-up. In patients with ACLF, urine L-FABP correlated with liver, coagulation, and circulatory failure. Urine L-FABP levels were also increased in patients with acute kidney injury, particularly in those with acute tubular necrosis. The ability of urinary L-FABP to predict survival and ACLF development was confirmed in the validation cohort. Urine NGAL predicted outcome on univariate but not multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS:Urinary L-FABP levels are independently associated with the 3-month clinical course in patients with DC, in terms of mortality and ACLF development. Urinary L-FABP is a promising prognostic biomarker for patients with DC. LAY SUMMARY:Increased levels of liver fatty acid-binding protein (L-FABP), a protein related to lipid metabolism, have been associated with liver-related diseases. The present study analyzed urinary L-FABP levels in 2 independent groups of patients with decompensated cirrhosis and showed that higher urinary L-FABP levels correlated with increased mortality and risk of acute-on-chronic liver failure development. Therefore, urinary L-FABP levels could be useful as a new tool to predict complications in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. 10.1016/j.jhep.2021.08.031
    Cirrhosis-associated immune dysfunction. Albillos Agustín,Martin-Mateos Rosa,Van der Merwe Schalk,Wiest Reiner,Jalan Rajiv,Álvarez-Mon Melchor Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology The term cirrhosis-associated immune dysfunction (CAID) comprises the distinctive spectrum of immune alterations associated with the course of end-stage liver disease. Systemic inflammation and immune deficiency are the key components of CAID. Their severity is highly dynamic and progressive, paralleling cirrhosis stage. CAID involves two different immune phenotypes: the low-grade systemic inflammatory phenotype and the high-grade systemic inflammatory phenotype. The low-grade systemic inflammatory phenotype can be found in patients with compensated disease or clinical decompensation with no organ failure. In this phenotype, there is an exaggerated immune activation but the effector response is not markedly compromised. The high-grade systemic inflammatory phenotype is present in patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure, a clinical situation characterized by decompensation, organ failure and high short-term mortality. Along with high-grade inflammation, this CAID phenotype includes intense immune paralysis that critically increases the risk of infections and worsens prognosis. The intensity of CAID has important consequences on cirrhosis progression and correlates with the severity of liver insufficiency, bacterial translocation and organ failure. Therapies targeting the modulation of the dysfunctional immune response are currently being evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies. 10.1038/s41575-021-00520-7
    A ROS-Sensitive Nanozyme-Augmented Photoacoustic Nanoprobe for Early Diagnosis and Therapy of Acute Liver Failure. Wu Haibin,Xia Fan,Zhang Lingxiao,Fang Chunyan,Lee Jiyoung,Gong Linji,Gao Jianqing,Ling Daishun,Li Fangyuan Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) Early diagnosis of acute liver failure (ALF) is critical for curable treatment of patients, because most existing ALF therapies have narrow therapeutic time windows after disease onset. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which lead to the sequential occurrences of hepatocyte necrosis and the leakage of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), represent early biomarkers of ALF. Photoacoustic imaging is emerging as a powerful tool for in vivo imaging of ROS. However, high-performance imaging probes that can boost the photoacoustic signals of the short-lived ROS of ALF are yet to be developed, and there remains a great challenge for ROS-based imaging of ALF. Herein, a ROS-sensitive nanozyme-augmented photoacoustic nanoprobe for successful in vivo imaging of ALF is presented. The deep-penetrating photoacoustic signals of the nanoprobe can be activated by the overexpressed ROS in ALF due to the synergy between nanocatalytic bubbles generation and thermoelastic expansion. Impressively, the nanozyme-augmented ROS imaging enables earlier diagnosis of ALF than the clinical ALT method, and the ROS-activated catalytic activity of nanoprobe permits timely nanocatalytic therapy of ALF. 10.1002/adma.202108348
    Inhibition of p53 Sulfoconjugation Prevents Oxidative Hepatotoxicity and Acute Liver Failure. Gastroenterology BACKGROUND & AIMS:Sulfoconjugation of small molecules or protein peptides is a key mechanism to ensure biochemical and functional homeostasis in mammals. The PAPS synthase 2 (PAPSS2) is the primary enzyme to synthesize the universal sulfonate donor 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS). Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure (ALF), in which oxidative stress is a key pathogenic event, whereas sulfation of APAP contributes to its detoxification. The goal of this study was to determine whether and how PAPSS2 plays a role in APAP-induced ALF. METHODS:Gene expression was analyzed in APAP-induced ALF in patients and mice. Liver-specific Papss2-knockout mice using Alb-Cre (Papss2) or AAV8-TBG-Cre (Papss2) were created and subjected to APAP-induced ALF. Primary human and mouse hepatocytes were used for in vitro mechanistic analysis. RESULTS:The hepatic expression of PAPSS2 was decreased in APAP-induced ALF in patients and mice. Surprisingly, Papss2 mice were protected from APAP-induced hepatotoxicity despite having a decreased APAP sulfation, which was accompanied by increased hepatic antioxidative capacity through the activation of the p53-p2-Nrf2 axis. Treatment with a sulfation inhibitor also ameliorated APAP-induced hepatotoxicity. Gene knockdown experiments showed that the hepatoprotective effect of Papss2 was Nrf2, p53, and p21 dependent. Mechanistically, we identified p53 as a novel substrate of sulfation. Papss2 ablation led to p53 protein accumulation by preventing p53 sulfation, which disrupts p53-MDM2 interaction and p53 ubiquitination and increases p53 protein stability. CONCLUSIONS:We have uncovered a previously unrecognized and p53-mediated role of PAPSS2 in controlling oxidative response. Inhibition of p53 sulfation may be explored for the clinical management of APAP overdose. 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.12.260
    Sulfation in Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury: Friend or Foe? Gastroenterology 10.1053/j.gastro.2022.01.032
    Impaired mitochondrial complex IV respiration in peripheral blood mononuclear cells discriminates acute-on-chronic liver failure from acute decompensation. Journal of hepatology 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.04.037
    "Beyond MELD" - Emerging strategies and technologies for improving mortality prediction, organ allocation and outcomes in liver transplantation. Journal of hepatology In this review article, we discuss the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and its dual purpose in general and transplant hepatology. As the landscape of liver disease and transplantation has evolved considerably since the advent of the MELD score, we summarise emerging concepts, methodologies, and technologies that may improve mortality prognostication in the future. Finally, we explore how these novel concepts and technologies may be incorporated into clinical practice. 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.03.003