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Results: 7

Interferon alfa improves liver biochemistry and viral clearance in transfusion‐acquired acute hepatitis C

Acute hepatitis C is rarely diagnosed because in most cases it is asymptomatic. Treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C with interferon can achieve viral clearance and improve liver biochemistry and histology. In this review, treatment with interferon alfa in the acute stage of transfusion‐acquired hepatitis C infection improved liver biochemistry and enhanced viral clearance compared to the natural history of the disease. We cannot ascertain, however, the effect of interferon on clinical outcomes due to a lack of data. Because of the effect of therapy on biochemical and virologic outcomes, we recommend the treatment of acute hepatitis C with at least interferon alfa at a dosage of three million units thrice weekly for three months. Future trials should focus on the efficacy of combination therapy with ribavirin and pegylated interferons, which have shown superiority to interferon alfa in chronic hepatitis C.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Treatment‐related late effects on the liver in survivors of childhood cancer

Advances in the treatment of childhood cancer over the last decades have greatly improved the survival rates. Unfortunately, the improved prognosis has been accompanied by the occurrence of late, treatment‐related complications. One of the adverse effects that can occur due to treatment of childhood cancer is damage to the liver. Hepatic adverse effects are common both during and soon after treatment. However, the evidence on adverse effects in the liver many years after treatment is still inconclusive. Liver injury as a result of childhood cancer treatment is most often subclinical (asymptomatic). If liver disease becomes symptomatic, a person's complaints may include fatigue, jaundice, nausea, weight loss and abdominal pain. The development of future treatment and follow‐up policies should be based on high quality evidence on the risk of, and associated risk factors for, hepatic late adverse effects.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Androgens for the anaemia of chronic kidney disease in adults

Anaemia, which occurs when red blood cell and haemoglobin levels fall below normal, is a common problem among adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Anaemia can cause breathlessness, dizziness and chest pain (angina); reduce ability to think clearly; limits ability to exercise; and contributes to sexual problems, poor appetite and reduced quality of life. Anaemia may also cause longer hospital stays, and sometimes death.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Still awaiting evidence on efficacy of medicinal herbs for viral hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease of the liver caused by hepatitis C virus. Around 170 million people world‐wide are chronically infected with this virus. The infection is associated with severe sequelae such as liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. Herbal medicines have been used for treating hepatitis C. This systematic review evaluates the effects of herbal medicines for treating acute and chronic hepatitis C infection.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Kava extract for treating anxiety

Systematic literature searches were conducted to assess the evidence for or against the effectiveness of kava extract for treating anxiety. Twenty‐two potentially relevant double‐blind, placebo‐controlled RCTs were identified. Twelve trials met the inclusion criteria. The meta‐analysis of seven trials suggests a significant treatment effect for the total score on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale in favour of kava extract. Few adverse events were reported in the reviewed trials, which were all mild, transient and infrequent. These data imply that, compared with placebo, kava extract might be an effective symptomatic treatment for anxiety although, at present, the size of the effect seems to be small. Rigorous trials with large sample sizes are needed to clarify the existing uncertainties. Particularly long‐term safety studies of kava are needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Interferon alpha for patients with chronic hepatitis D

Hepatitis D virus is unique in that it can only infect a person who is already infected by hepatitis B virus. Chronic hepatitis D is a difficult‐to‐treat infection. Several antiviral and immunomodulating agents have been evaluated in treatment of hepatitis D. However, with the exception of interferon, all of them proved ineffective. This meta analysis of six randomised clinical trials of interferon shows that even Interferon alpha is not an ideal drug for this infection. Among the 169 participants included in primary meta analysis, interferon alpha induced loss of virus, normalisation of liver tests, and improvement in the liver biopsy in more patients compared with those who were left untreated. Unfortunately, most of these patients did not have sustained response after stopping treatment. Additional analysis of two trials comparing a higher dose of interferon alpha with lower dose among randomly assigned participants showed no significant difference in outcome between the two groups. There were differences in dosage and duration of interferon alpha used among included trials as well as some other methodological weakness which places a high risk of bias in this meta analysis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Aminoadamantanes for chronic hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus is mainly transmitted by contact with infected blood. Chronic hepatitis C infection affects around 3% of the world's population and progresses slowly. Most patients present without symptoms, or with symptoms like fatigue or liver‐related morbidity (illness). Frequently, the disease is discovered by coincidence because of abnormal laboratory results. Between 5% and 40% of all infected patients will develop severe liver damage, which can cause severe liver‐related morbidities and eventually death. Current treatment consists of pegylated interferon‐alpha plus ribavirin, and in some groups of patients these two agents are administered in combination with antiviral drugs such as telaprevir or boceprevir. It is then possible to eradicate the virus from the blood in at least 70% of patients with chronic hepatitis C, but the clinical effects are not known.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Medical Encyclopedia

  • ALT
    Alanine transaminase (ALT) is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver. Injury to the liver results in release of the substance into the blood.
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Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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