Research questions liver disease prevalence in IBD

April 7, 2014 by Chris Thomas
It has always been recognised that up to five per cent of inflammatory bowel disease patients may have significant liver disease. Credit: Peter Gerdes

Do inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients have a higher prevalence of clinically significant liver disease?

It's a question researchers from Fremantle Hospital's Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Department of Gastroenterology, along with Curtin University's Centre for Population Health Research, set out to explore in a study to evaluate the claim.

Researchers used transient elastrography for the study, a way of measuring the elastic modulus – or stiffness – of the liver using sonic detection via an ultrasound-like probe in a machine known as a FibroScan.

The is measured in kilopascals, correlated to fibrosis, and is done without invasive investigation to deliver immediate results.

Lead author Dr Lena Thin says it has always been recognised that up to five per cent of IBD patients may have significant liver disease due to many multifactorial causes such as drugs, fatty liver disease and (PSC).

But this may have been over or underestimated due to a reliance on and abnormal liver tests (where are checked and found to be atypical).

IBD patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of IBD, were tested (110 total) against 55 in a control group.

There were no significant differences in liver stiffness between the two groups, although age and increased body mass index did independently cause it to be higher in the IBD group.

"The frequency of occult liver disease in IBD patients is low and this was confirmed using transient elastography in this study," Dr Thin says.

"The main cause of liver disease found was thought to be due to , just as it is in the general population.

"It means we must pay attention to metabolic risk factors in our patients and aim for minimisation of corticosteroid use [steroid hormones]."

Still uncertainty in detection of chloestatic liver diseases

Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Disease director Professor Ian Lawrance, another of the study's authors, says while significant in the IBD patients was found to be no greater than in the general population, this "may not be fully true" with recent data about PSC.

Dr Thin says this stems from the fact the FibroScan has not been shown to be particularly accurate in predicting fibrosis in chloestatic liver diseases.

"The incidence of PSC in IBD may be a lot higher than previously thought," she says.

Explore further: Large-scale genetic study defines relationship between primary sclerosing cholangitis and other autoimmune diseases

More information: "Detection of liver injury in IBD using transient elastography." Thin LW, et al. J Crohns Colitis. 2014 Feb 12. pii: S1873-9946(13)00439-X. DOI: 10.1016/j.crohns.2013.12.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Related Stories

Large-scale genetic study defines relationship between primary sclerosing cholangitis and other autoimmune diseases

April 21, 2013
For the first time, scientists show that a leading cause of liver transplant, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), is a distinct disease from inflammatory bowel disease, opening up new avenues for specific PSC treatments.

Inflammatory bowel disease raises risk of melanoma

May 20, 2013
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, report researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease. ...

Consuming coffee linked to lower risk of detrimental liver disease, study finds

May 19, 2013
Regular consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), an autoimmune liver disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. The findings were being presented at the Digestive Disease ...

Melanoma risk up in IBD independent of biologic therapy

January 31, 2014
(HealthDay)—Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, independent of the use of biologic therapy, according to research published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology ...

Fast, painless alternative to liver biopsies for hepatitis patients proves accurate and reliable

October 31, 2013
A non-invasive alternative to liver biopsy, now the standard method of diagnosing cirrhosis in hepatitis patients, proved very reliable in a national multi-center study including Henry Ford Hospital.

Hepatitis C remains major problem for HIV patients despite antiretroviral therapy

March 17, 2014
A new study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the risk of hepatitis C-associated serious liver disease persists in HIV patients otherwise benefitting from ...

Recommended for you

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.