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BACKGROUND - Jaundice as a presenting symptom of gallbladder cancer has traditionally been considered to be a sign of advanced disease, inoperability, and poor outcome. However, recent studies have demonstrated that a small subset of these patients can undergo resection with curative intent.
METHODS - Patients with gallbladder cancer managed surgically from 2000 to 2014 in 10 US academic institutions were stratified based on the presence of jaundice at presentation (defined as bilirubin ≥4 mg/ml or requiring preoperative biliary drainage). Perioperative morbidity, mortality, and overall survival were compared between jaundiced and non-jaundiced patients.
RESULTS - Of 400 gallbladder cancer patients with available preoperative data, 108 (27%) presented with jaundice while 292 (73%) did not. The fraction of patients who eventually underwent curative-intent resection was much lower in the presence of jaundice (n = 33, 30%) than not (n = 218, 75%; P < 0.001). Jaundiced patients experienced higher perioperative morbidity (69 vs. 38%; P = 0.002), including a much higher need for reoperation (12 vs. 1%; P = 0.003). However, 90-day mortality (6.5 vs. 3.6%; P = 0.35) was not significantly higher. Overall survival after resection was worse in jaundiced patients (median 14 vs. 32 months; P < 0.001). Further subgroup analysis within the jaundiced patients revealed a more favorable survival after resection in the presence of low CA19-9 < 50 (median 40 vs. 12 months; P = 0.003) and in the absence of lymphovascular invasion (40 vs. 14 months; P = 0.014).
CONCLUSION - Jaundice is a powerful preoperative clinical sign of inoperability and poor outcome among gallbladder cancer patients. However, some of these patients may still achieve long-term survival after resection, especially when preoperative CA19-9 levels are low and no lymphovascular invasion is noted pathologically.
OBJECTIVE - Systemic loxoscelism is a rare illness resulting from the bite of the recluse spider and, in its most severe form, can lead to widespread hemolysis, coagulopathy, and death. We aim to describe the clinical features and outcomes of the largest known cohort of individuals with moderate to severe loxoscelism.
METHODS - We performed a retrospective, cross sectional study from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2015, at a tertiary-care academic medical center, to determine individuals with clinical records consistent with moderate to severe loxoscelism. Age-, sex-, and race-matched controls were compared. Demographics, clinical characteristics, laboratory measures, and outcomes of individuals with loxoscelism are described. Case and control groups were compared with descriptive statistics and phenome-wide association study (PheWAS).
RESULTS - During the time period, 57 individuals were identified as having moderate to severe loxoscelism. Of these, only 33% had an antecedent spider bite documented. Median age of individuals diagnosed with moderate to severe loxoscelism was 14 years old (IQR 9.0-24.0 years). PheWAS confirmed associations of systemic loxoscelism with 29 other phenotypes, e.g., rash, hemolytic anemia, and sepsis. Hemoglobin level dropped an average of 3.1 g/dL over an average of 2.0 days (IQR 2.0-6.0). Lactate dehydrogenase and total bilirubin levels were on average over two times their upper limit of normal values. Eighteen individuals of 32 tested had a positive direct antiglobulin (Coombs') test. Mortality was 3.5% (2/57 individuals).
CONCLUSION - Systemic loxoscelism is a rare but devastating process with only a minority of patients recalling the toxic exposure; hemolysis reaches a peak at 2 days after admission, with some cases taking more than a week before recovery. In endemic areas, suspicion for systemic loxoscelism should be high in individuals, especially children and younger adults, presenting with a cutaneous ulcer and hemolysis or coagulopathy, even in the absence of a bite exposure history.
BACKGROUND - Numerous epidemiological studies support an inverse association between serum bilirubin levels and the incidence of cardiovascular disease; however, the mechanism(s) by which bilirubin may protect against atherosclerosis is undefined. The goals of the present investigations were to assess the ability of bilirubin to prevent atherosclerotic plaque formation in low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient ( ) mice and elucidate the molecular processes underlying this effect.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Bilirubin, at physiological concentrations (≤20 μmol/L), dose-dependently inhibits THP-1 monocyte migration across tumor necrosis factor α-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cell monolayers without altering leukocyte binding or cytokine production. A potent antioxidant, bilirubin effectively blocks the generation of cellular reactive oxygen species induced by the cross-linking of endothelial vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) or intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1). These findings were validated by treating cells with blocking antibodies or with specific inhibitors of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 signaling. When administered to mice on a Western diet, bilirubin (30 mg/kg intraperitoneally) prevents atherosclerotic plaque formation, but does not alter circulating cholesterol or chemokine levels. Aortic roots from bilirubin-treated animals exhibit reduced lipid and collagen deposition, decreased infiltration of monocytes and lymphocytes, fewer smooth muscle cells, and diminished levels of chlorotyrosine and nitrotyrosine, without changes in VCAM-1 or ICAM-1 expression.
CONCLUSIONS - Bilirubin suppresses atherosclerotic plaque formation in mice by disrupting endothelial VCAM-1- and ICAM-1-mediated leukocyte migration through the scavenging of reactive oxygen species signaling intermediaries. These findings suggest a potential mechanism for the apparent cardioprotective effects of bilirubin.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
Bilirubin is thought to exert anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)-dependent leukocyte migration and by suppressing the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). As VCAM-1 and iNOS are important mediators of tissue injury in the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) murine model of inflammatory colitis, we examined whether bilirubin prevents colonic injury in DSS-treated mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were administered 2.5% DSS in the drinking water for 7 days, while simultaneously receiving intraperitoneal injections of bilirubin (30 mg/kg) or potassium phosphate vehicle. Disease activity was monitored, peripheral blood counts and serum nitrate levels were determined, and intestinal specimens were analyzed for histological injury, leukocyte infiltration, and iNOS expression. The effect of bilirubin on IL-5 production by HSB-2 cells and on Jurkat cell transendothelial migration also was determined. DSS-treated mice that simultaneously received bilirubin lost less body weight, had lower serum nitrate levels, and exhibited reduced disease severity than vehicle-treated animals. Concordantly, histopathological analyses revealed that bilirubin-treated mice manifested significantly less colonic injury, including reduced infiltration of eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes, and diminished iNOS expression. Bilirubin administration also was associated with decreased eosinophil and monocyte infiltration into the small intestine, with a corresponding increase in peripheral blood eosinophilia. Bilirubin prevented Jurkat migration but did not alter IL-5 production. In conclusion, bilirubin prevents DSS-induced colitis by inhibiting the migration of leukocytes across the vascular endothelium and by suppressing iNOS expression.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
OBJECTIVES - Symptom eradication in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) does not guarantee control of acid or duodenogastroesophageal reflux (DGER). Continued reflux of acid and/or DGER may increase risk of neoplastic progression and may decrease the likelihood of columnar mucosa eradication after ablative therapy. To date, no study has addressed whether both complete acid and DGER control is possible in patients with BE. This prospective study was designed to assess the effect of escalating-dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on esophageal acid and DGER.
METHODS - Patients with BE (≥3 cm in length) underwent simultaneous ambulatory prolonged pH and DGER monitoring after at least 1 week off PPI therapy followed by testing on therapy after 1 month of twice-daily rabeprazole (20 mg). In those with continued acid and/or DGER, the tests were repeated after 1 month of double-dose (40 mg twice daily) rabeprazole. The primary study outcome was normalization of both acid and DGER. Symptom severity was assessed on and off PPI therapy employing a four-point ordinal scale.
RESULTS - A total of 29 patients with BE consented for pH monitoring, of whom 23 also consented for both pH and DGER monitoring off and on therapy (83% male; mean age 58 years; mean body mass index 29; mean Barrett's length 6.0 cm). Median (interquartile range) total % time pH <4 and bilirubin absorbance >0.14 off PPI therapy were 18.4 (11.7-20.0) and 9.7 (5.0-22.2), respectively. In addition, 26/29 (90%) had normalized acid and 18/23 (78%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 20 mg. Among those not achieving normalization on 20 mg twice daily, 3/3 (100%) had normalized acid and 4/5 (80%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 40 mg twice daily. All subjects had symptoms controlled on rabeprazole 20 mg twice daily. Univariate analysis found no predictor for normalization of physiologic parameters based on demographics.
CONCLUSIONS - Symptom control does not guarantee normalization of acid and DGER at standard dose of twice-daily PPI therapy. Normalization of acid and DGER can be achieved in 79% of BE patients on rabeprazole 20 mg p.o. twice daily, and in the majority of the remainder at high-dose twice-daily PPI. In patients undergoing ablative therapy, pH or DGER monitoring may not be needed to ensure normalization of reflux if patients are treated with high-dose PPI therapy.
AIMS - Vascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). We previously demonstrated that patients with T1DM have impaired endothelial function, a forme fruste of atherosclerosis, as a result of increased oxidative stress. Bilirubin has emerged as a potent endogenous antioxidant with higher concentrations associated with lower rates of myocardial infarction and stroke.
METHODS - We tested the hypothesis that increasing endogenous bilirubin using atazanavir would improve cardiometabolic risk factors and vascular function in patients with T1DM to determine whether targeting bilirubin may be a novel therapeutic approach to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in this population. In this single-arm, open-label study, we evaluated blood pressure, lipid profile, and conduit artery function in fifteen subjects (mean age 45 ± 9 years) with T1DM following a 4-day treatment with atazanavir.
RESULTS - As anticipated, atazanavir significantly increased both serum total bilirubin levels (p < 0.0001) and plasma total antioxidant capacity (p < 0.0001). Reductions in total cholesterol (p = 0.04), LDL cholesterol (p = 0.04), and mean arterial pressure (p = 0.04) were also observed following atazanavir treatment. No changes were seen in either flow-mediated endothelium-dependent (p = 0.92) or nitroglycerine-mediated endothelium-independent (p = 0.68) vasodilation, measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography at baseline and post-treatment.
CONCLUSION - Increasing serum bilirubin levels with atazanavir in subjects with T1DM over 4 days favorably reduces LDL and blood pressure but is not associated with improvements in endothelial function of conduit arteries.
BACKGROUND - Atazanavir-associated hyperbilirubinemia can cause premature discontinuation of atazanavir and avoidance of its initial prescription. We used genomewide genotyping and clinical data to characterize determinants of atazanavir pharmacokinetics and hyperbilirubinemia in AIDS Clinical Trials Group protocol A5202.
METHODS - Plasma atazanavir pharmacokinetics and indirect bilirubin concentrations were characterized in HIV-1-infected patients randomized to atazanavir/ritonavir-containing regimens. A subset had genomewide genotype data available.
RESULTS - Genomewide assay data were available from 542 participants, of whom 475 also had data on estimated atazanavir clearance and relevant covariates available. Peak bilirubin concentration and relevant covariates were available for 443 participants. By multivariate analysis, higher peak on-treatment bilirubin levels were found to be associated with the UGT1A1 rs887829 T allele (P=6.4×10(-12)), higher baseline hemoglobin levels (P=4.9×10(-13)), higher baseline bilirubin levels (P=6.7×10(-12)), and slower plasma atazanavir clearance (P=8.6×10(-11)). For peak bilirubin levels greater than 3.0 mg/dl, the positive predictive value of a baseline bilirubin level of 0.5 mg/dl or higher with hemoglobin concentrations of 14 g/dl or higher was 0.51, which increased to 0.85 with rs887829 TT homozygosity. For peak bilirubin levels of 3.0 mg/dl or lower, the positive predictive value of a baseline bilirubin level less than 0.5 mg/dl with a hemoglobin concentration less than 14 g/dl was 0.91, which increased to 0.96 with rs887829 CC homozygosity. No polymorphism predicted atazanavir pharmacokinetics at genomewide significance.
CONCLUSION - Atazanavir-associated hyperbilirubinemia is best predicted by considering UGT1A1 genotype, baseline bilirubin level, and baseline hemoglobin level in combination. Use of ritonavir as a pharmacokinetic enhancer may have abrogated genetic associations with atazanavir pharmacokinetics.
OBJECTIVE - A negative relationship between total bilirubin concentration (TBili) and CVD risk has been documented in a series of epidemiological studies. In addition, TBili is thought to be under strong genetic regulation via the UGT1A gene family, suggesting it may be a heritable CVD risk factor. However, few studies directly relate TBili-associated UGT1A variants to CVD severity or outcome. This study replicated the genetic association for TBili in the Diabetes Heart Study (DHS), and examined the relationships of TBili-associated SNPs with measures of subclinical CVD and mortality.
METHODS - This investigation included 1220 self-described European American (EA) individuals from the DHS, a family-based study examining risk for macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Genetic associations with TBili were examined using the Affymetrix Genome-wide Human SNP Array 5.0 and the Illumina Infinium Human Exome beadchip v1.0. Subsequent analyses assessed the relationships of the top TBili-associated SNPs with measures of vascular calcified plaque and mortality.
RESULTS - A genome-wide association study detected 18 SNPs within the UGT1A gene family associated with TBili at p < 5 × 10(-8). The top hit was rs887829 (p = 8.67 × 10(-20)). There was no compelling evidence of association between the top TBili-associated SNPs and vascular calcified plaque (p = 0.05-0.88). There was, however, evidence of association with all-cause mortality (p = 0.0004-0.06), the top hit being rs2741034.
CONCLUSION - These findings support a potential role for UGT1A genetic variants in risk for mortality in T2D. Further quantification of the extent of CVD risk conferred by UGT1A gene family variants in a high risk cohort with T2D is still required.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
The UGT1A1*28 variant has been associated with hyperbilirubinemia and atazanavir discontinuation. Protocol A5202 randomly assigned human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients to receive atazanavir/ritonavir (atazanavir/r) or efavirenz, with tenofovir/emtricitabine or abacavir/lamivudine. A total of 646 atazanavir/r recipients were evaluable for UGT1A1. Homozygosity for *28/*28 was present in 8% of whites, 24% of blacks, and 18% of Hispanics and was associated with increased bilirubin concentrations. There was an association between *28/*28 and increased atazanavir/r discontinuation among Hispanic participants (P = .005) but not among white or black participants (P = .79 and P = .46, respectively). The positive predictive value of 28*/28* for atazanavir/r discontinuation among Hispanic participants was only 32% (95% confidence interval, 16%-52%).