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      RUCAM in Drug and Herb Induced Liver Injury: The Update

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          RUCAM (Roussel Uclaf Causality Assessment Method) or its previous synonym CIOMS (Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences) is a well established tool in common use to quantitatively assess causality in cases of suspected drug induced liver injury (DILI) and herb induced liver injury (HILI). Historical background and the original work confirm the use of RUCAM as single term for future cases, dismissing now the term CIOMS for reasons of simplicity and clarity. RUCAM represents a structured, standardized, validated, and hepatotoxicity specific diagnostic approach that attributes scores to individual key items, providing final quantitative gradings of causality for each suspect drug/herb in a case report. Experts from Europe and the United States had previously established in consensus meetings the first criteria of RUCAM to meet the requirements of clinicians and practitioners in care for their patients with suspected DILI and HILI. RUCAM was completed by additional criteria and validated, assisting to establish the timely diagnosis with a high degree of certainty. In many countries and for more than two decades, physicians, regulatory agencies, case report authors, and pharmaceutical companies successfully applied RUCAM for suspected DILI and HILI. Their practical experience, emerging new data on DILI and HILI characteristics, and few ambiguous questions in domains such alcohol use and exclusions of non-drug causes led to the present update of RUCAM. The aim was to reduce interobserver and intraobserver variability, to provide accurately defined, objective core elements, and to simplify the handling of the items. We now present the update of the well accepted original RUCAM scale and recommend its use for clinical, regulatory, publication, and expert purposes to validly establish causality in cases of suspected DILI and HILI, facilitating a straightforward application and an internationally harmonized approach of causality assessment as a common basic tool.

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          Most cited references 173

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            Causality assessment of adverse reactions to drugs--I. A novel method based on the conclusions of international consensus meetings: application to drug-induced liver injuries.

            Despite the great number of methods proposed, assessing the causal role of a drug in the occurrence of an adverse medical event remains one of the most controversial issues. Qualifying terms for criteria, such as "compatible", "suggestive" of "inconclusive", have never been strictly defined, leading to low reproducibility. Weights of the criteria are usually not adapted to the injured organ, decreasing the specificity of the method. In this paper, a new method for drug causality assessment is described. Contents and limits of the criteria have been defined by experts convened to organ-oriented international consensus meetings. Additional criteria have been introduced and weights attributed. The method was applied to reports of acute liver injuries. The reproducibility was tested by an independent team. The validity of this novel method is studied in the following paper, based on an original approach using reports with positive rechallenge as external standard.
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              Simplified criteria for the diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis.

              Diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) may be challenging. However, early diagnosis is important because immunosuppression is life-saving. Diagnostic criteria of the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group (IAIHG) were complex and purely meant for scientific purposes. This study of the IAIHG aims to define simplified diagnostic criteria for routine clinical practice. Candidate criteria included sex, age, autoantibodies, immunoglobulins, absence of viral hepatitis, and histology. The training set included 250 AIH patients and 193 controls from 11 centers worldwide. Scores were built from variables showing predictive ability in univariate analysis. Diagnostic value of each score was assessed by the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The best score was validated using data of an additional 109 AIH patients and 284 controls. This score included autoantibodies, immunoglobulin G, histology, and exclusion of viral hepatitis. The area under the curve for prediction of AIH was 0.946 in the training set and 0.91 in the validation set. Based on the ROC curves, two cutoff points were chosen. The score was found to have 88% sensitivity and 97% specificity (cutoff > or =6) and 81% sensitivity and 99% specificity (cutoff > or =7) in the validation set. A reliable diagnosis of AIH can be made using a very simple diagnostic score. We propose the diagnosis of probable AIH at a cutoff point greater than 6 points and definite AIH 7 points or higher.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Pharmacovigilance Consultancy, rue des Ormeaux, 75020 Paris, France
                [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Klinikum Hanau, Academic Teaching Hospital of the Medical Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt am Main, D-63450 Hanau, Germany; rolf.teschke@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: gaby.danan@ ; Tel.: +33-613-783-931
                Role: Academic Editor
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                24 December 2015
                January 2016
                : 17
                : 1
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license (



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