AIM: To investigate the efficacy and tolerability of mixed soluble/insoluble fibre vs. psyllium in a randomized double-blind controlled trial.
METHODS: Constipated patients (Rome III) received mixed fibre or psyllium, 5 g b.d., for 4 weeks. Daily symptoms and stool habit were assessed using stool diary. Subjects with ≥1 complete spontaneous bowel movement/week above baseline for ≥2/4 weeks were considered responders. Secondary outcome measures included stool consistency, bowel satisfaction, straining, gas, bloating, taste, dissolvability and quality of life (QoL).
RESULTS: Seventy-two subjects (mixed fibre = 40; psyllium = 32) were enrolled and two from psyllium group withdrew. The mean complete spontaneous bowel movement/week increased with both mixed fibre (P < 0.0001) and psyllium (P = 0.0002) without group difference. There were 30 (75%) responders with mixed fibre and 24 (75%) with psyllium (P = 0.9). Stool consistency increased (P = 0.04), straining (P = 0.006) and bloating scores decreased (P = 0.02) without group differences. Significantly more patients reported improvement in flatulence (53% vs. 25%, P = 0.01) and felt that mixed fibre dissolved better (P = 0.02) compared to psyllium. QoL improved (P = 0.0125) with both treatments without group differences.
CONCLUSIONS: Mixed fibre and psyllium were equally efficacious in improving constipation and QoL. Mixed fibre was more effective in relieving flatulence, bloating and dissolved better. Mixed fibre is effective and well tolerated.
AIM: To study factors associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and advanced fibrosis, and medical treatment of biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients.
METHODS: Retrospective study of biopsy-proven NAFLD patients from centres in the GO ASIA Workgroup. Independent factors associated with NASH and with advanced fibrosis on binary logistic regression analyses in a training cohort were used for the development of their corresponding risk score, which were validated in a validation cohort.
RESULTS: We included 1008 patients from nine centres across eight countries (NASH 62.9%, advanced fibrosis 17.2%). Independent predictors of NASH were body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 , diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, alanine aminotransferase ≥88 U/L and aspartate aminotransferase ≥38 U/L, constituting the Asia Pacific NASH risk score. A high score has a positive predictive value of 80%-83% for NASH. Independent predictors of advanced fibrosis were age ≥55 years, diabetes mellitus and platelet count <150 × 109 /L, constituting the Asia-Pacific NAFLD advanced fibrosis risk score. A low score has a negative predictive value of 95%-96% for advanced fibrosis. Only 1.7% of patients were referred for structured lifestyle program, 4.2% were on vitamin E, and 2.4% were on pioglitazone.
CONCLUSIONS: More severe liver disease can be suspected or ruled out based on factors identified in this study. Utilisation of structured lifestyle program, vitamin E and pioglitazone was limited despite this being a cohort of biopsy-proven NAFLD patients with majority of patients having NASH.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with unequivocal evidence of H. pylori infection based on culture, histology and rapid urease test of both antrum and corpus biopsies were recruited for the study. The study was a randomized, investigator-blind, comparative study. Patients received either omeprazole 20 mg o.m., clarithromycin 250 mg b.d. and amoxycillin 500 mg b.d. (OAC) or omeprazole 20 mg o.m., metronidazole 400 mg b.d. and clarithromycin 250 mg b.d. (OMC) for 1 week. Patients were assessed for successful eradication, which was defined as absence of bacteria in all tests (culture, histology and urease test on both antral and corpus biopsies), at least 4 weeks after completion of therapy.
RESULTS: Eighty-two patients were recruited for the study. Eradication rates on intention-to-treat analysis were--OAC: 36/41 (87.8%, 95% CI: 73.8, 95.9); OMC: 33/41 (80.5%, 95% CI: 65.1, 91.2). On per protocol analysis were--OAC: 36/40 (90%, 95% CI: 76.3, 97.2); OMC: 32/38 (84.2%, 95% CI: 68.7, 94.0). All side-effects encountered were mild and no patient discontinued treatment because of intolerance to medications. The most common side-effects were altered taste (OAC 31.7%, OMC 53.7%) and lethargy (OAC 14.6%, OMC 19.5%). Pre-treatment metronidazole resistance was encountered in 34/63 (54.0%) patients. No bacterial strains were found with primary resistance to clarithromycin. Metronidazole resistance did not significantly affect eradication rates. Emergence of resistance to clarithromycin was not seen post-therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Both the OAC and the OMC regimens were convenient and well-tolerated treatments for H. pylori. However, eradication rates were lower than anticipated.
AIM: To determine how to use CAP in interpreting liver stiffness measurements.
METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of data from an individual patient data meta-analysis on CAP. The main exclusion criteria for the current analysis were unknown aetiology, unreliable elastography measurement and data already used for the same research question. Aetiology-specific liver stiffness measurement cut-offs were determined and used to estimate positive and negative predictive values (PPV/NPV) with logistic regression as functions of CAP.
RESULTS: Two thousand and fifty eight patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria (37% women, 18% NAFLD/NASH, 42% HBV, 40% HCV, 51% significant fibrosis ≥ F2). Youden optimised cut-offs were only sufficient for ruling out cirrhosis (NPV of 98%). With sensitivity and specificity-optimised cut-offs, NPV for ruling out significant fibrosis was moderate (70%) and could be improved slightly through consideration of CAP. PPV for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis were 68% and 55% respectively, despite specificity-optimised cut-offs for cirrhosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Liver stiffness measurement values below aetiology-specific cut-offs are very useful for ruling out cirrhosis, and to a lesser extent for ruling out significant fibrosis. In the case of the latter, Controlled Attenuation Parameter can improve interpretation slightly. Even if cut-offs are very high, liver stiffness measurements are not very reliable for ruling in fibrosis or cirrhosis.