Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New chronic hepatitis research from Aichi Gakuin University discussed

December 22, 2010

New chronic hepatitis research from Aichi Gakuin University discussed

According to recent research from Nagoya, Japan, "In chronic hepatitis C, iron might play an important role as a hepatotoxic co-factor. Therefore, venesection, a standard treatment for hemochromatosis, has been proposed as an alternative for patients who respond poorly to anti-viral therapy."

"Hemochromatosis is a disorder that interferes with the body's ability
to break down iron, and results in too much iron being absorbed from
the gastrointestinal tract"

"To improve our understanding of iron-induced hepatotoxicity, we compared the responses to venesection between patients with chronic hepatitis C and those with HFE-hemochromatosis. Fourteen Japanese patients with chronic hepatitis C and eight Italian patients with HFE-hemochromatosis underwent repeated venesection with a serum ferritin endpoint of 20 and 50 ng/mL, respectively. Serum iron indices and liver function tests were measured in pre- and post treatment blood samples from each patient. Body iron stores were calculated using the removed blood volume. In both patients with hepatitis and hemochromatosis, serum ferritin, aminotransferase and hepcidin 25 were reduced after venesection. The serum aminotransferase activity, but not the serum ferritin level, was predictive of effective iron removal treatment. Hepcidin regulation was set at an inappropriately low level in hemochromatosis patients (11.1 +/- 9.2 ng/mL), but not so in hepatitis patients (30.7 +/- 14.5 ng/mL). Inversely, the estimated body iron stores of hemochromatosis patients were 5,960 +/- 2,750 mg, while those of hepatitis patients were 730 +/- 560 mg. Judging from the liver enzyme reduction ratio, patients with hepatitis seemed to be more sensitive to iron hepatotoxicity than hemochromatosis patients," wrote H. Hayashi and colleagues, Aichi Gakuin University (see also Chronic Hepatitis).

The researchers concluded: "Even though the threshold of iron hepatotoxicity and benefit of its removal differ between patients with chronic hepatitis C and those with HFE-hemochromatosis, venesection is a valid choice of treatment to reduce liver disease activity in both diseases."

Hayashi and colleagues published their study in Internal Medicine (Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C May be More Sensitive to Iron Hepatotoxicity than Patients with HFE-Hemochromatosis. Internal Medicine, 2010;49(22):2371-2377).

For additional information, contact H. Hayashi, Aichi Gakuin University, School Pharmacy, Dept. of Medical, 1-100 Kusumoto Cho, Nagoya, Aichi 464, Japan.

Publisher contact information for the journal Internal Medicine is: Japan Society Internal Medicine, 34-3 3-CHOME Hongo Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, 113, Japan.

Keywords: City:Nagoya, Country:Japan, Aminotransferase, Blood, Cardiology, Cardiovascular, Chronic Hepatitis, Digestive System Diseases, Enzymes, Ferritins, Gastroenterology, Hemochromatosis, Immunology, Inborn Errors Metal Metabolism, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Iron Metabolism Disorders, Iron Overload, Iron-Binding Proteins, Liver Diseases, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases, Serum

This article was prepared by Hepatitis Weekly editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2010, Hepatitis Weekly via

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