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      Treatment of Patients with Cirrhosis

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      New England Journal of Medicine

      Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Most cited references 60

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          Management of hepatocellular carcinoma: An update

          Since the publication of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) practice guidelines on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 2005, new information has emerged that requires that the guidelines be updated. The full version of the new guidelines is available on the AASLD Web site at http://www.aasld.org/practiceguidelines/Documents/Bookmarked%20Practice%20Guidelines/HCCUpdate2010.pdf. Here, we briefly describe only new or changed recommendations. Surveillance and Diagnosis In the previous guideline, groups were specified for which surveillance was likely to be cost-effective because the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence was high enough. New data on defining HCC risk have emerged for hepatitis B virus,1,2 hepatitis C virus,3 and autoimmune hepatitis.4 Surveillance is deemed cost-effective if the expected HCC risk exceeds 1.5% per year in patients with hepatitis C and 0.2% per year in patients with hepatitis B. Analysis of recent studies show that alpha-fetoprotein determination lacks adequate sensitivity and specificity for effective surveillance (and for diagnosis).5,6 Thus, surveillance has to be based on ultrasound examination. The recommended screening interval is 6 months. Diagnosis of HCC should be based on imaging techniques and/or biopsy.The 2005 diagnostic algorithm has been validated and the diagnostic accuracy of a single dynamic technique showing intense arterial uptake followed by “washout” of contrast in the venous-delayed phases has been demonstrated.7-9 Contrast-enhanced US may offer false positive HCC diagnosis in patients with cholangiocarcinoma and thus, has been dropped from the diagnostic techniques. The diagnostic algorithm is shown in Fig. 1. The application of dynamic imaging criteria should be applied only to patients with cirrhosis of any etiology and to patients with chronic hepatitis B who may not have fully developed cirrhosis or have regressed cirrhosis. Interpretation of biopsies and distinction between high-grade dysplatic nodules and HCC is challenging. Expert pathology diagnosis is reinforced by staining for glypican 3, heat shock protein 70, and glutamine synthetase, because positivity for two of these three stains confirms HCC.10 Fig. 1 Diagnostic algorithm for suspected HCC. CT, computed tomography; MDCT, multidetector CT; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; US, ultrasound. Staging and Treatment of HCC The BCLC staging system (Fig. 2)11 has come to be widely accepted in clinical practice and is also being used for many clinical trials of new drugs to treat HCC. Therefore, it has become the de facto staging system that is used. Fig. 2 The BCLC staging system for HCC. M, metastasis classification; N, node classification; PS, performance status; RFA, radiofrequency ablation; TACE, transarterial chemoembolization. The recommendations for liver transplantation have not changed. No new data have emerged that can be used to define a new limit for expanding the patient selection criteria. The usefulness of portal pressure measurement to predict the outcome of patients and define optimal candidates for resection has been validated in Japan.12 Thus, resection should remain the first option for patients who have the optimal profile, as defined by the BCLC staging system. Although resection can be performed in some of these patients with advanced liver disease, the mortality is higher and they might be better served by liver transplantation or ablation. A cohort study of radiofrequency ablation demonstrated that complete ablation of lesions smaller than 2 cm is possible in more than 90% of cases, with a local recurrence rate of less than 1%.13 These data should be confirmed by other groups before positioning ablation as the first-line approach for very early HCC. The recommendations regarding patient selection and method of administration of chemoembolization are unchanged. Radioembolization, i.e., the intra-arterial injection of yttrium-90 bound to glass beads or to resin, has been shown to induce tumor necrosis, but there are no data comparing its efficacy to transarterial chemoembolization or to sorafenib treatment for those with portal vein invasion. However, for patients who have either failed transarterial chemoembolization or who present with more advanced HCC, new data indicates the efficacy of sorafenib (a multikinase inhibitor with activity against Raf-1, B-Raf, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, c-Kit receptors, among other kinases) in prolonging life.14,15 Sorafenib induces a clinically relevant improvement in time to progression and in survival The magnitude of the improvement in survival compares with other established molecular targeted therapies for other advanced cancers, and the associated toxicity is easily managed without treatment-related mortality. The most frequent adverse events were diarrhea (sorafenib versus placebo: 11% versus 2%) and hand–foot skin reaction (sorafenib versus placebo: 8% versus <1%), fatigue, and weight loss. Sorafenib is now considered first-line treatment in patients with HCC who can no longer be treated with potentially more effective therapies. In summary, in the past decade HCC has gone from being an almost universal death sentence to a cancer that can be prevented, detected at an early stage, and effectively treated. Physicians caring for patients at risk need to provide high-quality screening, proper management of screen-detected lesions, and provision of therapy that is most appropriate for the stage of disease.
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            Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.

            Up-to-date evidence on levels and trends for age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality is essential for the formation of global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) we estimated yearly deaths for 188 countries between 1990, and 2013. We used the results to assess whether there is epidemiological convergence across countries. We estimated age-sex-specific all-cause mortality using the GBD 2010 methods with some refinements to improve accuracy applied to an updated database of vital registration, survey, and census data. We generally estimated cause of death as in the GBD 2010. Key improvements included the addition of more recent vital registration data for 72 countries, an updated verbal autopsy literature review, two new and detailed data systems for China, and more detail for Mexico, UK, Turkey, and Russia. We improved statistical models for garbage code redistribution. We used six different modelling strategies across the 240 causes; cause of death ensemble modelling (CODEm) was the dominant strategy for causes with sufficient information. Trends for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias were informed by meta-regression of prevalence studies. For pathogen-specific causes of diarrhoea and lower respiratory infections we used a counterfactual approach. We computed two measures of convergence (inequality) across countries: the average relative difference across all pairs of countries (Gini coefficient) and the average absolute difference across countries. To summarise broad findings, we used multiple decrement life-tables to decompose probabilities of death from birth to exact age 15 years, from exact age 15 years to exact age 50 years, and from exact age 50 years to exact age 75 years, and life expectancy at birth into major causes. For all quantities reported, we computed 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). We constrained cause-specific fractions within each age-sex-country-year group to sum to all-cause mortality based on draws from the uncertainty distributions. Global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65.3 years (UI 65.0-65.6) in 1990, to 71.5 years (UI 71.0-71.9) in 2013, while the number of deaths increased from 47.5 million (UI 46.8-48.2) to 54.9 million (UI 53.6-56.3) over the same interval. Global progress masked variation by age and sex: for children, average absolute differences between countries decreased but relative differences increased. For women aged 25-39 years and older than 75 years and for men aged 20-49 years and 65 years and older, both absolute and relative differences increased. Decomposition of global and regional life expectancy showed the prominent role of reductions in age-standardised death rates for cardiovascular diseases and cancers in high-income regions, and reductions in child deaths from diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and neonatal causes in low-income regions. HIV/AIDS reduced life expectancy in southern sub-Saharan Africa. For most communicable causes of death both numbers of deaths and age-standardised death rates fell whereas for most non-communicable causes, demographic shifts have increased numbers of deaths but decreased age-standardised death rates. Global deaths from injury increased by 10.7%, from 4.3 million deaths in 1990 to 4.8 million in 2013; but age-standardised rates declined over the same period by 21%. For some causes of more than 100,000 deaths per year in 2013, age-standardised death rates increased between 1990 and 2013, including HIV/AIDS, pancreatic cancer, atrial fibrillation and flutter, drug use disorders, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and sickle-cell anaemias. Diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, neonatal causes, and malaria are still in the top five causes of death in children younger than 5 years. The most important pathogens are rotavirus for diarrhoea and pneumococcus for lower respiratory infections. Country-specific probabilities of death over three phases of life were substantially varied between and within regions. For most countries, the general pattern of reductions in age-sex specific mortality has been associated with a progressive shift towards a larger share of the remaining deaths caused by non-communicable disease and injuries. Assessing epidemiological convergence across countries depends on whether an absolute or relative measure of inequality is used. Nevertheless, age-standardised death rates for seven substantial causes are increasing, suggesting the potential for reversals in some countries. Important gaps exist in the empirical data for cause of death estimates for some countries; for example, no national data for India are available for the past decade. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with atorvastatin in type 2 diabetes in the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS): multicentre randomised placebo-controlled trial.

              Type 2 diabetes is associated with a substantially increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but the role of lipid-lowering therapy with statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in diabetes is inadequately defined. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of atorvastatin 10 mg daily for primary prevention of major cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes without high concentrations of LDL-cholesterol. 2838 patients aged 40-75 years in 132 centres in the UK and Ireland were randomised to placebo (n=1410) or atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=1428). Study entrants had no documented previous history of cardiovascular disease, an LDL-cholesterol concentration of 4.14 mmol/L or lower, a fasting triglyceride amount of 6.78 mmol/L or less, and at least one of the following: retinopathy, albuminuria, current smoking, or hypertension. The primary endpoint was time to first occurrence of the following: acute coronary heart disease events, coronary revascularisation, or stroke. Analysis was by intention to treat. The trial was terminated 2 years earlier than expected because the prespecified early stopping rule for efficacy had been met. Median duration of follow-up was 3.9 years (IQR 3.0-4.7). 127 patients allocated placebo (2.46 per 100 person-years at risk) and 83 allocated atorvastatin (1.54 per 100 person-years at risk) had at least one major cardiovascular event (rate reduction 37% [95% CI -52 to -17], p=0.001). Treatment would be expected to prevent at least 37 major vascular events per 1000 such people treated for 4 years. Assessed separately, acute coronary heart disease events were reduced by 36% (-55 to -9), coronary revascularisations by 31% (-59 to 16), and rate of stroke by 48% (-69 to -11). Atorvastatin reduced the death rate by 27% (-48 to 1, p=0.059). No excess of adverse events was noted in the atorvastatin group. Atorvastatin 10 mg daily is safe and efficacious in reducing the risk of first cardiovascular disease events, including stroke, in patients with type 2 diabetes without high LDL-cholesterol. No justification is available for having a particular threshold level of LDL-cholesterol as the sole arbiter of which patients with type 2 diabetes should receive statins. The debate about whether all people with this disorder warrant statin treatment should now focus on whether any patients are at sufficiently low risk for this treatment to be withheld.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                August 25 2016
                August 25 2016
                : 375
                : 8
                : 767-777
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMra1504367
                27557303
                © 2016
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