Sarcopenia is defined by muscle loss and muscle dysfunction. Sarcopenia is classified into primary and secondary types, based on the cause. Primary sarcopenia is mainly aging-related sarcopenia, whereas secondary sarcopenia is the reduced muscle mass and strength that accompanies an underlying disease. Given the essential role of the liver in metabolism, secondary sarcopenia due to nutritional disorders or other factors can frequently occur in liver disease. In 2015, the Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH) decided to establish its own assessment criteria for sarcopenia in liver disease because the number of liver disease patients with sarcopenia is expected to increase and there is cumulative evidence to indicate sarcopenic patients have poor clinical outcomes. A working group to create assessment criteria for sarcopenia has thus been established by the JSH. In this article, we summarize the current knowledge with regard to sarcopenia and present the assessment criteria for sarcopenia in liver disease proposed by the JSH (1st edition). To the best of our knowledge, this is globally the first proposed assessment criteria for sarcopenia specializing in liver disease.
BackgroundWe aimed to elucidate the relationship between serum myostatin levels and other markers including skeletal muscle mass and to investigate the influence of serum myostatin levels on survival for patients with liver cirrhosis (LC).MethodsA total of 198 LC subjects were analysed in this study. Myostatin levels were measured using stored sera. We retrospectively investigated the relationship between myostatin level and other markers, and the influence of myostatin level on overall survival (OS). Assessment of skeletal muscle mass was performed using the psoas muscle index (PMI) on computed tomography images at baseline. PMI indicates the sum of bilateral psoas muscle mass calculated by hand tracing at the lumber three level on computed tomography images divided by height squared (cm2/m2). The study cohort was divided into two groups based on the median myostatin value in each gender.ResultsOur study cohort included 108 male and 90 female patients with a median age of 67.5 years. The median (range) myostatin level for male patients was 3419.6 pg/mL (578.4–12897.7 pg/mL), whereas that for female patients was 2662.4 pg/mL (710.4–8782.0 pg/mL) (P = 0.0024). Median (range) serum myostatin level for Child–Pugh A patients (n = 123) was 2726.0 pg/mL (578.4–12667.2 pg/mL), whereas that for Child–Pugh B or C patients (n = 75) was 3615.2 pg/mL (663.3–12897.7 pg/mL) (P = 0.0011). For the entire cohort, the 1‐, 3‐, 5‐, and 7‐year cumulative OS rates were 93.94%, 72.71%, 50.37%, and 38.47%, respectively, in the high‐myostatin group and 96.97%, 83.27%, 73.60%, and 69.95%, respectively, in the low‐myostatin group (P = 0.0001). After excluding hepatocellular carcinoma patients (at baseline) from our analysis (n = 158), the 1‐, 3‐, 5‐, and 7‐year cumulative OS rates were 96.0%, 77.93%, 52.97%, and 39.08%, respectively, in the high‐myostatin group and 96.39%, 87.58%, 77.63%, and 73.24%, respectively, in the low‐myostatin group (P = 0.0005). Higher age (P = 0.0111) and lower PMI (P < 0.0001) were identified as significant predictors of poorer OS in our multivariate analysis, while higher serum myostatin (P = 0.0855) tended to be a significant adverse predictor. In both genders, PMI, serum albumin, prothrombin time, and branched‐chain amino acid to tyrosine ratio showed a significantly inverse correlation with myostatin levels, and serum ammonia levels showed a significantly positive correlation with myostatin levels.ConclusionsHigher serum myostatin levels correlated with muscle mass loss, hyperammonemia, and impaired protein synthesis, as reflected by lower serum albumin levels and lower branched‐chain amino acid to tyrosine ratio levels. High serum myostatin levels were also associated with a reduced OS rate in LC patients.
The first edition of the clinical practice guidelines for liver cirrhosis was published in 2010, and the second edition was published in 2015 by the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology (JSGE). The revised third edition was recently published in 2020.This version has become a joint guideline by the JSGE and the Japanese Society of Hepatology (JSH). In addition to the clinical questions (CQs), background questions (BQs) are new items for basic clinical knowledge, and future research questions (FRQs) are newly added clinically important items. Concerning the clinical treatment of liver cirrhosis, new findings have been reported over the past 5 years since the second edition. In this revision, we decided to match the international standards as much as possible by referring to the latest international guidelines. Newly developed agents for various complications have also made great progress. In comparison with the latest global guidelines, such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver
The first edition of the clinical practice guidelines for liver cirrhosis was published in 2010, and the second edition was published in 2015 by the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology (JSGE). The revised third edition was recently published in 2020. This version has become a joint guideline by the JSGE and the Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH). In addition to the clinical questions (CQs), background questions (BQs) are new items for basic clinical knowledge, and future research questions (FRQs) are newly added clinically important items. Concerning the clinical treatment of liver cirrhosis, new findings have been reported over the past 5 years since the second edition. In this revision, we decided to match the international standards as much as possible by referring to the latest international guidelines. Newly developed agents for various complications have also made great progress. In comparison with the latest global guidelines, such as the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), we are introducing data based on the evidence for clinical practice in Japan. The flowchart for nutrition therapy was reviewed to be useful for daily medical care by referring to overseas guidelines. We also explain several clinically important items that have recently received focus and were not mentioned in the last editions. This digest version describes the issues related to the management of liver cirrhosis and several complications in clinical practice. The content begins with a diagnostic algorithm, the revised flowchart for nutritional therapy, and refracted ascites, which are of great importance to patients with cirrhosis. In addition to the updated antiviral therapy for hepatitis B and C liver cirrhosis, the latest treatments for non-viral cirrhosis, such as alcoholic steatohepatitis/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH/NASH) and autoimmune-related cirrhosis, are also described. It also covers the latest evidence regarding the diagnosis and treatment of liver cirrhosis complications, namely gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, hepatorenal syndrome and acute kidney injury, hepatic encephalopathy, portal thrombus, sarcopenia, muscle cramp, thrombocytopenia, pruritus, hepatopulmonary syndrome, portopulmonary hypertension, and vitamin D deficiency, including BQ, CQ and FRQ. Finally, this guideline covers prognosis prediction and liver transplantation, especially focusing on several new findings since the last version. Since this revision is a joint guideline by both societies, the same content is published simultaneously in the official English journal of JSGE and JSH.
An aging society means that the number of elderly patients with cancer is predicted to rise in the future. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) usually develops in patients with hepatitis B virus infection, hepatitis C virus infection, or alcoholic liver disease. The risk of developing HCC is also known to be age-dependent and elderly patients sometimes present with HCC. The increased longevity of the population thus means that more elderly HCC patients are to be expected in the coming years. In general, many elderly patients are not receiving optimal therapy for malignancies, because it is often withheld from them because of perceived minimal survival advantage and the fear of potential toxicity. Comprehensive data with regard to treatment of elderly patients with HCC are currently limited. Furthermore, current guidelines for the management of HCC do not satisfy strategies according to age. Thus, there is urgent need for investigation of safety and clinical outcomes in elderly patients who receive therapy for HCC. In this review, we primarily refer to current knowledge of clinical characteristics and outcome in elderly patients with HCC who underwent different treatment approaches (i.e., surgical resection, liver transplantation, locoregional therapies, and molecular-targeting therapy).
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related mortality worldwide. In the last few decades, there has been a marked increase in therapeutic options for HCC and epidemiological characteristics at HCC diagnosis have also significantly changed. With these changes and advances in medical technology and surveillance program for detecting earlier stage HCC, survival in patients with HCC has significantly improved. Especially, patients with liver cirrhosis are at high risk of HCC development, and regular surveillance could enable early detection of HCC and curative therapy, with potentially improved clinical outcome. However, unfortunately, only 20% of HCC patients are amenable to curative therapy (liver transplantation, surgical resection or ablative therapies). Locoregional therapies such as radiofrequency ablation, percutaneous ethanol injection, microwave coagulation therapy and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization play a key role in the management of unresectable HCC. Currently, molecular-targeted agents such as sorafenib have emerged as a promising therapy for advanced HCC. The choice of the treatment modality depends on the size of the tumor, tumor location, anatomical considerations, number of tumors present and liver function. Furthermore, new promising therapies such as gene therapy and immunotherapy for HCC have emerged. Approaches to the HCC diagnosis and adequate management for patients with HCC are improving survival. Herein, we review changes of epidemiological characteristics, prognosis and therapies for HCC and refer to current knowledge for this malignancy based on our experience of approximately 4000 HCC cases over the last three decades.
Background To assess the recent real-world changes in the etiologies of liver cirrhosis (LC) in Japan, we conducted a nationwide survey in the annual meeting of the Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH). Methods We investigated the etiologies of LC patients accumulated from 68 participants in 79 institutions (N = 48,621). We next assessed changing trends in the etiologies of LC by analyzing cases in which the year of diagnosis was available (N = 45,834). We further evaluated the transition in the real number of newly identified LC patients by assessing data from 36 hospitals with complete datasets for 2008-2016 (N = 18,358). Results In the overall data, HCV infection (48.2%) was the leading cause of LC in Japan, and HBV infection (11.5%) was the third-most common cause. Regarding the transition in the etiologies of LC, the contribution of viral hepatitisrelated LC dropped from 73.4 to 49.7%. Among the nonviral etiologies, alcoholic-related disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-related LC showed a notable increase (from 13.7 to 24.9% and from 2.0 to 9.1%, respectively). Regarding the real numbers of newly diagnosed patients from 2008 to 2016, the numbers of patients with viral hepatitis-related LC decreased, while the numbers of patients with non-viral LC increased.Conclusions HCV has remained the main cause of LC in Japan; however, the contribution of viral hepatitis as an etiology of LC is suggested to have been decreasing. In addition, non-viral LC, such as ALD-related LC and NASH-related LC, is suggested to have increased as etiologies of LC in Japan.
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