The Asia-Pacific Expert Committee on Hepatitis B Management recently reviewed the impact of hepatitis B in the region and assessed the differences and similarities observed in the practical management of the disease in individual Asia-Pacific countries. Hepatitis B is a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific region, and of all chronically infected carriers worldwide, approximately 75% are found in Asia. The disease poses a considerable burden on healthcare systems, and is likely to remain a cause of substantial morbidity and mortality for several decades. Disease prevention activities, including screening and vaccination programs, have been implemented successfully in some Asia-Pacific countries and similar measures are being established in other parts of the region. The management of hepatitis B in the Asia-Pacific varies throughout the region, with each country confronting different issues related to treatment options, disease monitoring and duration of therapy. The influence of cost, availability of diagnostic equipment, and patient awareness and compliance are of additional concern. Although guidelines such as those developed by the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver have been created to address problems encountered in the management of hepatitis B, many physicians in the region still find it difficult to make satisfactory management decisions because of the treatment choices available. This article examines the different approaches to hepatitis B management in a number of Asia-Pacific countries, and highlights the difficulties that can arise when adhering to treatment guidelines and disease prevention solutions that have proved to be successful in the region.
The Asia-Pacific region has disparate hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology, with prevalence ranging from 0·1% to 4·7%, and a unique genotype distribution. Genotype 1b dominates in east Asia, whereas in south Asia and southeast Asia genotype 3 dominates, and in Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), genotype 6 is most common. Often, availability of all-oral direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) is delayed because of differing regulatory requirements. Ideally, for genotype 1 infections, sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir, sofosbuvir plus daclatasvir, or ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir plus dasabuvir are suitable. Asunaprevir plus daclatasvir is appropriate for compensated genotype 1b HCV if baseline NS5A mutations are absent. For genotype 3 infections, sofosbuvir plus daclatasvir for 24 weeks or sofosbuvir, daclatasvir, and ribavirin for 12 weeks are the optimal oral therapies, particularly for patients with cirrhosis and those who are treatment experienced, whereas sofosbuvir, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin for 12 weeks is an alternative regimen. For genotype 6, sofosbuvir plus pegylated interferon and ribavirin, sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir, or sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks are all suitable. Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin has been replaced by sofosbuvir plus pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and all-oral therapies where available, but cost and affordability remain a major issue because of the absence of universal health coverage. Few patients have been treated because of multiple barriers to accessing care. HCV in the Asia-Pacific region is challenging because of the disparate epidemiology, poor access to all-oral therapy because of availability, cost, or regulatory licensing. Until these problems are addressed, the burden of disease is likely to remain high.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly worldwide. It is common to encounter patients with COVID-19 with abnormal liver function, either in the form of hepatitis, cholestasis, or both. The clinical implications of liver derangement might be variable in different clinical scenarios. With growing evidence of its clinical significance, it would be clinically helpful to provide practice recommendations for various common clinical scenarios of liver derangement during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asia-Pacific Working Group for Liver Derangement during the COVID-19 Pandemic was formed to systematically review the literature with special focus on the clinical management of patients who have been or who are at risk of developing liver derangement during this pandemic. Clinical scenarios covering the use of pharmacological treatment for COVID-19 in the case of liver derangement, and assessment and management of patients with chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and liver transplantation during the pandemic are discussed.
Large volume of new data on the natural history and treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection have become available since 2008. These include further studies in asymptomatic subjects with chronic HBV infection and community-based cohorts, the role of HBV genotype/naturally occurring HBV mutations, the application of non-invasive assessment of hepatic fibrosis and quantitation of HBV surface antigen and new drug or new strategies towards more effective therapy. To update HBV management guidelines, relevant new data were reviewed and assessed by experts from the region, and the significance of the reported findings was discussed and debated. The earlier "Asian-Pacific consensus statement on the management of chronic hepatitis B" was revised accordingly. The key terms used in the statement were also defined. The new guidelines include general management, indications for fibrosis assessment, time to start or stop drug therapy, choice of drug to initiate therapy, when and how to monitor the patients during and after stopping drug therapy. Recommendations on the therapy of patients in special circumstances, including women in childbearing age, patients with antiviral drug resistance, concurrent viral infection, hepatic decompensation, patients receiving immune suppression or chemotherapy and patients in the setting of liver transplantation and hepatocellular carcinoma, are also included.
Worldwide, some 240 million people have chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), with the highest rates of infection in Africa and Asia. Our understanding of the natural history of HBV infection and the potential for therapy of the resultant disease is continuously improving. New data have become available since the previous APASL guidelines for management of HBV infection were published in 2012. The objective of this manuscript is to update the recommendations for the optimal management of chronic HBV infection. The 2015 guidelines were developed by a panel of Asian experts chosen by the APASL. The clinical practice guidelines are based on evidence from existing publications or, if evidence was unavailable, on the experts' personal experience and opinion after deliberations. Manuscripts and abstracts of important meetings published through January 2015 have been evaluated. This guideline covers the full spectrum of care of patients infected with hepatitis B, including new terminology, natural history, screening, vaccination, counseling, diagnosis, assessment of the stage of liver disease, the indications, timing, choice and duration of single or combination of antiviral drugs, screening for HCC, management in special situations like childhood, pregnancy, coinfections, renal impairment and pre- and post-liver transplant, and policy guidelines. However, areas of uncertainty still exist, and clinicians, patients, and public health authorities must therefore continue to make choices on the basis of the evolving evidence. The final clinical practice guidelines and recommendations are presented here, along with the relevant background information.
The first consensus report of the working party of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) set up in 2004 on acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) was published in 2009. With international groups volunteering to join, the "APASL ACLF Research Consortium (AARC)" was formed in 2012, which continued to collect prospective ACLF patient data. Based on the prospective data analysis of nearly 1400 patients, the AARC consensus was published in 2014. In the past nearly four-and-a-half years, the AARC database has been enriched to about 5200 cases by major hepatology centers across Asia. The data published during the interim period were carefully analyzed and areas of contention and new developments in the field of ACLF were prioritized in a systematic manner. The AARC database was also approached for answering some of the issues where published data were limited, such as liver failure grading, its impact on the 'Golden Therapeutic Window', extrahepatic organ dysfunction and failure, development of sepsis, distinctive features of acute decompensation from ACLF and pediatric ACLF and the issues were analyzed. These initiatives concluded in a two-day meeting in October 2018 at New Delhi with finalization of the new AARC consensus. Only those statements, which were based on evidence using the Grade System and were unanimously recommended, were accepted. Finalized statements were again circulated to all the experts and subsequently presented at the AARC investigators meeting at the AASLD in November 2018. The suggestions from the experts were used to revise and finalize the consensus. After detailed deliberations and data analysis, the original definition of ACLF was found to withstand the test of time and be able to identify a homogenous group of patients presenting with liver failure. New management options including the algorithms for the management of coagulation disorders, renal replacement therapy, sepsis, variceal bleed, antivirals and criteria for liver transplantation for ACLF patients were proposed. The final consensus statements along with the relevant background information and areas requiring future studies are presented here.
The article Acute-on-chronic liver failure: consensus recommendations of the Asian Pacific association for the study of the liver (APASL): an update, written by [Shiv Sarin], was originally published electronically on the publisher's internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on June 06, 2019 without open access.