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Review of liver biopsy or autopsy material from 33 patients with severe combined immunodeficiency or combined immunodeficiency and four patients with DiGeorge syndrome revealed a wide range of hepatic pathology. The most common abnormality was graft-versus-host disease (16 patients), followed by viral infection (4 patients had adenovirus hepatitis, 3 had cytomegalovirus hepatitis). Centrilobular fibrosis with or without veno-occlusive disease was seen in five patients. Three patients had nonspecific hepatitis, four had changes attributed to total parenteral nutrition, and two had lymphoproliferative disorders involving the liver. Both patients with lymphoproliferative disorders had received transplants. Two patients had resolving necrosis probably secondary to non-A, non-B hepatitis. One had atypical mycobacterial infection. Hemosiderosis was a common nonspecific abnormality, seen in nine patients. All patients with hepatic graft-versus-host disease had received transplants or nonirradiated blood products. Hepatic graft-versus-host disease varied in severity from hepatic necrosis with destruction of both large and small bile ducts in a transfusion-associated case to subtle damage to interlobular bile ducts. Even minimal bile duct changes correlated with the clinical impression of graft-versus-host disease in these patients. Late chronic graft-versus-host disease was not seen in any patient, although acute graft-versus-host disease sometimes occurred late after transplant.
Psoriatic lesions are relatively frequent in patients with chronic liver disease. Furthermore, therapy with interferons tends to exacerbate the symptoms. The pathogenesis of psoriatic lesions is unclear. An important question is whether such lesions may be linked to the underlying chronic liver disease in these patients, or whether they are incidental manifestations of psoriasis vulgaris. We collected biopsy specimens from involved and uninvolved skin areas of chronic liver disease patients with psoriatic manifestations, as well as from psoriasis vulgaris patients, and investigated the patterns of integrin adhesion receptors by means of immunohistochemical methods. Integrin expression is known to be characteristically altered in psoriasis vulgaris. We found some of these changes in chronic liver disease psoriatic lesions-namely pericellular redistribution and suprabasal expression of the basement membrane receptor alpha 6 beta 4 and of the intercellular integrins alpha 2 beta 1 and alpha 3 beta 1. However, psoriasis vulgaris causes two other typical changes: One is the induction of the prototype fibronectin receptor alpha 5 beta 1, and the other is the alteration of integrin expression in areas of the epidermis that are macroscopically normal. These two changes were not found in chronic liver disease psoriasis biopsy specimens in 14 patients investigated. Thus integrin expression may be useful in differentiating chronic liver disease psoriatic lesions from psoriasis vulgaris lesions. Even though the two types of lesions are indistinguishable on inspection or by their histological features, they may be caused by distinct pathogenetic mechanisms. It remains to be seen whether the underlying chronic liver disease has a role, albeit indirect, in such mechanisms.
A prospective, 1-year study was performed to determine the causes of an ESR greater than or equal to 100 in patients admitted to a general medical ward in Harare, Zimbabwe. An ESR greater than or equal to 100 was found in 101 (12%) patients. Infection (46 patients) was the commonest cause, followed by malignancy (25), connective tissue disease (17), renal disease (8) and liver disease (5). The frequency of an ESR greater than or equal to 100 in these diagnostic groups was infection (28%), malignancy (44%), connective tissue disease (71%), renal disease (30%) and liver disease (24%). Pneumonia was the commonest infection diagnosed and the commonest cause of a markedly elevated ESR. Although myeloma was only the second commonest malignancy diagnosed it was the commonest malignancy causing an ESR greater than or equal to 100. In the largest group, infection, there was a significantly increased mortality in patients with an ESR greater than or equal to 100.
Massive intrahepatic hemorrhage occurred in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after a routine liver biopsy done to assess possible methotrexate (MTX) hepatotoxicity. Major complications of liver biopsy occur about once in every 600 biopsies, and mortality from liver biopsy has been reported. Life threatening hepatic toxicity occurs rarely during low dose MTX administration, and it is unclear whether routine liver biopsies identify patients at high risk for these complications. Until the relative risks of liver biopsy and serious MTX liver toxicity are better defined, the use of routine liver biopsies should be recommended only after careful consideration of potential procedural complications in patients with RA treated with MTX.
UNLABELLED - Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), the coenzyme form of vitamin B6, is essential for many biochemical reactions in the body. Studies in experimental animals have suggested that the liver is a primary site for the formation of PLP circulating in the plasma, and that it may also participate in its degradation. This study evaluates, for the first time, the effects of liver disease in man on the regulation of plasma PLP. The plasma PLP level was measured before and sequentially after the rapid intravenous administration of 50 mg of pyridoxine to patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, acute hepatitis, and extrahepatic obstruction, and to normal control subjects. The base line plasma PLP concentration was significantly lower in cirrhotic patients than in normal persons (P less than 0.025), and there was a tendency for it to be reduced in patients with extrahepatic obstruction. After administration of pyridoxine there was a significant increase in the plasma PLP level over a 2- to 12-hr period, after which the concentration returned gradually toward the initial value. The area under the concentration/time curve was from 2 to 8 times smaller (P less than 0.002) in the patients with liver disease. To assess possible mechanisms of this change, 5 mg of PLP were intravenously administered to the various patient groups and the pharmacokinetics of the disposition were assessed. The initial and steady state volumes of distribution of PLP were comparable in cirrhotics and controls (P greater than 0.05), but the clearance of plasma PLP in cirrhotics was much faster (63.0 +/- 7.4 versus 31.7 +/- 2.7 ml per min, P less than 0.004). Similar findings were obtained in the other liver disease subjects. The in vitro plasma binding of PLP at supracirculatory concentrations was comparable in cirrhotics and controls (99.4 versus 99.5%, P greater than 0.05).
IN CONCLUSION - (1) plasma PLP regulation in patients with liver disease is abnormal, (2) a significant factor in the decrease in plasma PLP after intravenous pyridoxine administration in these patients appears to be an increase in the total plasma clearance of the coenzyme, and (3) it is postulated that this may be due to increased degradation of PLP by the diseased liver.