The Seoul National University Hospital said its researchers have developed a new model to predict the risk of transplant or death in hepatitis A-related liver failure.
|Professor Kim Yoon-jun|
Professors Kim Yoon-jun and Cho Eun-ju at the SNUH and Professor Kim Jin-dong at Halla Hospital in Jeju led a research team from 2007 to 2013 to design a model to check early prognostic factors and predict the risk of transplant or death in 294 local patients with hepatitis A-related acute liver failure. Then, they verified the model in 56 patients from the U.K., India and Japan, the SNUH said.
Hepatitis A is generally treatable and rarely progresses into acute liver failure with hepatic encephalopathy (hepatic coma). In this case, half of the patients may die without a liver transplant. Therefore, it is deemed essential to identify patients who need an early liver transplant and have the treatment plan in place.
In Korea, the number of hepatitis A patients has dramatically increased in the mid- to late-2000s. The disease produces about 4,000 patients a year. In Europe, too, hepatitis A patients are steadily growing.
The latest hepatitis A in Korea is mostly imported from outside, making more people vulnerable to the disease. The country needs more preparation for the spread of the disease, observers said.
The SNUH team’s new model “ALFA score” achieved the accuracy rate of predicting liver failure patients’ risk of transplant or death at 0.87, much higher than existing models – KCC at 0.56 and MELD at 0.79.
The researchers hoped that the latest prognosis model with a simple blood test would help predict the prognosis early and plan the treatment.
“Hepatitis A is highly likely to become prevalent not only in Korea but worldwide. Setting up an early treatment plan with the new prediction model will contribute to saving lives of patients with liver failure,” said Professor Kim Yoon-jun of Gastroenterology at the SNUH.
Hepatology, a journal of liver and kidney diseases in gastroenterology, published the study on the latest issue on the internet.