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Researchers make advances in understanding causes, treatments and outcomes of liver disease
Date:5/2/2010

NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 2, 2010) Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which may soon be the leading indication for liver transplant, is found to be significantly associated with worse transplant outcomes. In addition, a new tool for diagnosing NAFLD represents an alternative to liver biopsy, which is more expensive and prone to complications, and ultrasound and alfafeprotein blood test screening are an effective alternative to CT scan and MRI for patients with cirrhosis at high risk for hepatocellular cancer. These are among the research findings being presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2010. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"NAFLD is a growing concern in the U.S. and the research presented here gives us a better understanding of its influence on transplant outcomes as well as alternatives in diagnosing the condition," said Frank Anania, MD, AGAF, Emory University School of Medicine, associate professor of medicine, director of hepatology.

The Influence of NAFLD and Its Associated Comorbidities on Liver Transplant Outcomes (Abstract #S1858)

NAFLD is significantly associated with worse transplant outcomes (death and graft failure) within the first 30 days after transplant, according to new research from the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill.

NAFLD is a rising epidemic in the U.S., fueled in part by the dual epidemics of obesity and diabetes. As NAFLD increases in incidence and prevalence, researchers say they expect it to become the leading indication for liver transplantation in the next two decades. Unfortunately, the same risk factors for NAFLD diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors for heart disease.

Researchers used a retrospective cohort study design to analyze 118 liver transplants over a three-year period. Beside
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Contact: Amy Levey
alevey@gymr.com
202-745-5116
Digestive Disease Week
Source:Eurekalert

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